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We’re Co-workers, Not Friends

The reality of life is that sometimes we have to work with people we don't like and quite frankly, that is acceptable. Accepting a job doesn’t mean you are under contract to make new friends.

Having a cohesive team built on mutual trust and respect can lead to high levels of success, but is it possible to have that and not like the people you work with? Yes!

This isn’t high school, so your employees shouldn’t behave like it is. Nobody said you had to make friends at work. There is an expectation though that employees will treat each other professionally and with courtesy and respect.

If you have employees who are getting caught up in work relationship issues, your best bet is to nip it in the bud. Have a conversation with the employees and determine where the conflict lies. Come to some common ground on how they can work together professionally without letting their personal feelings impact their productivity and the rest of the team.

Unfortunately, when employees don’t get along, the conflict can often turn into harassment and bullying. Employers have a responsibility to prevent and address workplace harassment. Are you surprised that employees who don’t like each other can end up harassing each other? Even making sarcastic remarks, treating someone poorly or assigning work unfairly can be considered harassment. These are all actions that people often make when they don’t like someone they work with.

You all have the same goal; do your job well and help the business succeed.

If you find yourself in a situation where you just can’t get along with someone at work, you should try having a conversation with them. Remember to be honest but respectful. You can also choose to rise above the behaviour that is causing conflict and be the bigger person. Like your mom taught you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Remember, work is for business, not your personal life. If you are lucky enough to build some personal relationships with the people you spend most of your waking hours with then that’s a bonus! But remember, this is your job, not summer camp.


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