In terms of managing performance, disruption to normal working relationships can develop because of staff conflict. This can arise for many reasons such as unclear goals, personality clashes and negative behaviours in the team. It can also be very difficult to identify when a disagreement becomes a conflict because of the different ways that people respond and sometimes these situations develop over a long period of time which makes it difficult to then separate the various issues that have emerged to reach a solution.
In these situations the University is committed to supporting staff to work together to resolve disputes and conflicts and recognises that encouraging good working relationships between individuals will have a positive impact on staff wellbeing and performance. To do this the University has a mediation policy and process which is a voluntary, confidential and informal process where an independent person – the mediator, works with participants to resolve disputes and conflicts in the workplace and help them find their own solutions and reach an agreement that will improve their situation.
To initiate the mediation process all individuals must voluntarily agree to be involved and the Mediation Coordinator (the Deputy Director HR Development) will arrange separate meetings with the individuals seeking mediation to explain the purpose of the mediation and decide if this is the best way forward. The mediation process involves the mediator seeing each individual involved separately to clarify the issues that need to be addressed and then bring the individuals together to identify possible solutions. When a mutual agreement is reached between the individuals the mediator(s) record the details in writing and both parties sign the agreement. The mediation process and agreement is confidential.