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resolving problems at work

The University encourages open and honest communication between employees and their supervisors. Most conflicts and differences of opinion can be resolved by the employee and supervisor directly confronting issues and jointly exploring alternatives. Some of these situations might include:

  • Problems with your supervisor
  • Problems with a co-worker
  • Feeling that you are being harassed or discriminated against
  • Learning that you have a disabling condition
  • Feeling like you are not being treated fairly
  • Coping with illness in the family
  • Wanting to learn how to improve your workplace interactions

When we have success resolving problems, we feel good about being able to manage our own problems effectively. Sometimes, however, even with our best efforts, we are not successful. At these times, you may want to utilize the resources located on this page.

Tools for Resolving Problems at Work

Talk to Your Supervisor
Talk to your Supervisor, especially if you have been trying to work things out on your own. Your supervisor may be able to suggest other alternatives that you haven't considered. many times supervisors have information that would be helpful to you. You and your supervisor may be able to develop a resolution together.

Contact Human Resources:  (573) 651-2206
Contact a Human Resources representative for assistance, especially if your supervisor seems to be a part of the problem. Human Resources representatives know how to approach a problem and can help develop strategies for talking to your supervisor or co-worker about a situation.

Consult with Assistant to the President on Equity and Diversity Issues Office: (573) 651-2524
Ask for guidance from the Assistance to the President on Equity and Diversity Issues Office. A representative from this office will listen to the details of your situation and will want to learn what strategies you have tried to resolve the situation. You and the representative can then develop a plan of what to do next, whether you decide to proceed on your own or with the assistance of the representative.

Supervisory Techniques for Preventing Sexual Harassment
What Everyone Needs to Know About Handling Sexual Harassment

Additional Resources

Policies and Procedures

The University's Business Policy and Procedure Manual (Section3) is readily available online. Staff members are invited to review the list of policies to determine if there is a University policy that applies to their situation. Questions regarding these policies may be directed to the Human Resources Office at (573) 651-2206. If you need assistance with faculty issues, please contact the Provost Office at 651-2063.

Grievance Policy for Staff

If you find that your efforts to use the strategies and resources listed here have not allowed you to achieve a satisfactory outcome, you may want to consider utilizing the University's grievance procedure. Staff represented by a collective bargaining agreement should consult current contract language or the appropriate union representative. If you need assistance with faculty issues, please contact the Provost Office at 651-2063.


Fax: 573.651.2108
Academic Hall Room 012
Office of Human Resources
One University Plaza, MS 3150
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701