Managers: End team rivalries


If you?re managing a divided team, try this rivalry-specific advice for ending the practice standoffs.

Receptionists vs. technicians

Practical solution: If the front and back are divided by invisible walls, ask a technician to cover the next time a receptionist calls in sick or takes time off. This will give technicians first-hand experience in the receptionists' stressful, demanding role.

Older vs. younger generation

Practical solution: Choose the generation gap as a topic for your team's next educational meeting. The first order of business: Completing a generational questionnaire to help acquaint everyone. As team members share, discuss how the answers vary based on when each person was born. Next, talk about each employee's dreams for the future. Ask them how they'd spend an unlimited amount of money. Then introduce the idea that there are 86,400 seconds in every day. Ask team members to consider how they'd like to use their resources-bickering or looking for solutions.

Morning shift vs. evening

Practical solution: First, say no to notes. Rather than jotting down comments or instructions on stickie notes, require team members to speak to each other during shift changes. Then hold monthly meetings for each group, such as morning and evening kennel workers, morning and evening receptionists, and morning and evening technicians. Sometimes is best for managers to step out of the picture. Consider setting management-free quarterly meetings so team members can air concerns and ideas without fear of embarrassment or retribution. Ask that a delegate for every service attend. For example, one team member would attend as a representative for receptionists, technicians, assistants, associate doctors, and so on. A management delegate should be welcome to attend if he or she can refrain from taking over the meeting.

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