Relationships at work sometimes break down and two employees are no longer able to work together productively. This more commonly happens between an employee and their manager, but can also occur with colleagues at the same level.
Mediation is often a good solution and can resolve the underlying issues.
It involves an independent third party talking to each employee separately to identify and understand their concerns, and then coaching them through finding a solution, culminating in a facilitated joint meeting where each explains their views to the other in a controlled and constructive manner and commits to an agreed way forward.
Bringing in an external person, who doesn’t know any of the people involved, to carry out the mediation reassures both parties that there is no bias and helps them to be more open to the process.
Meditation doesn’t always work, but it does mean the employer has made all reasonable attempts to resolve the matter before needing to take more extreme or risky action such as dismissing or redeploying one of the employees.
I have carried out manager-employee and peer mediation in the public sector and private sector with a high level of success. I have also trained HR professionals in how to mediate effectively.