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Conflict Resolution Services and the Grievance Process

The university encourages communication between supervisors and employees to resolve workplace conflicts. Even though there's a formal grievance process, you and your employees are encouraged to use conflict resolution services to informally resolve differences. The best and most lasting resolutions are those created by the people directly involved.

Conflict Resolution Services Overview

Conflict Resolution Services

The university provides a fair and efficient process for you and your employees to present and resolve complaints and grievances about your jobs. Assisted by the Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO), this problem-solving process lets each side hear each other and work out their own disputes. This preserves work relationships and ensures everyone's happy with the results. You may take advantage of the following conflict resolution services.

Facilitation

Either you or your employee can request an Employee and Management Services (EMS) representative to facilitate meetings. This often helps make work expectations clearer and/or improve communication between both of you.

Mediation

Mediation facilitates communication between people having conflicts. Mediation promotes reconciliation, settlement or understanding of issues or concerns. The process is voluntary and confidential. A mediation session is neutral forum to discuss and clarify issues, express feelings, discuss interests, identify possible solutions, and reach an agreement on how to resolve the problem.

At the university, trained, volunteer mediators help you identify key issues and the interests behind them. This helps you to explore and evaluate your options. In mediation, you're responsible for coming to a resolution, not the mediator. Mediators aren't judges, subject matter experts or arbitrators. They only manage the dispute-resolution process. This service is provided at no cost. If you have questions or would like more information regarding mediation, contact the Dispute Resolution Officer, 512-471-6638.

Training

Employee and Management Services offers two classes to provide basic concepts, skills and techniques that enable you to address and resolve conflict in your workplace:

  • Addressing Conflict in the Workplace
  • Building Conflict Resolution Skills

Custom classes and workshops are also offered to meet the needs of individual departments or units. For more information, Dispute Resolution Officer, 512-471-6638.

Grievance Process Overview

Grievance Policy

The university's Grievance Policy provides a mechanism to:

  • Resolve employee concerns at the earliest possible opportunity
  • Help develop positive and effective communication between your employees and you
  • Improve your and your employee’s conflict resolution skills

Your employees can present complaints and grievances concerning their conditions of work, such as wages, hours, or anything else related to the employer-employee relationship. When employees present a complaint or grievance, they should identify the basis of the dispute, include specific facts and provide relevant documents or information related to the matter. They should state the result they want in their complaint or grievance.

Employees must try conflict resolution before beginning the formal grievance procedure. Early dispute resolution leads to more positive and successful workplace relationships.

Dispute Resolution Process

Under the Grievance Policy, employees must present their complaints in writing to the Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) within ten business days from when the incident happened. The DRO works with your employee, you and other relevant management personnel to address and resolve the complaint. This process helps identify issues, gather information, develop possible solutions, encourage further discussions and, if needed, provide mediation services.

Grievances

After the dispute resolution process, if employees aren't satisfied with the results, they may pursue the formal grievance procedure set forth in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Grievance Policy.