Decide how to tackle the conflict

Having examined the situation, decide what kind of action is appropriate. Ask yourself:
› Is this a serious matter or relatively trivial? Could it become serious?
› Should organisational discipline or grievance procedures be invoked?
› Is the matter within your sphere of authority or should it be referred to a superior?
› Are any legal issues involved? In situations where the law comes into play (e.g. the Equality Act 2010) it is advisable to consult with your HR department before you take any action
› Would the participation of a trade union representative be appropriate?
› Would it be best to make a ruling on the issue yourself, or would an informal gathering to discuss the
problem be helpful? Will the parties accept your ruling?
› Is time needed for heated emotions to subside before moving forward?

The answers to these questions will help you decide what action to take. For all sorts of reasons, there may
be situations where formal processes, including legal proceedings, may need to be invoked – if in doubt, consult your HR department.

However, many issues can be resolved without resorting to costly legal cases. In most cases a mutually
agreed mediated solution will be more effective than an imposed solution which may leave all parties
dissatisfied. Consider how you can get those involved together to exchange views and explore the issues. Do
you have access to mediators (formal or informal)?

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