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5 Key Steps to conducting a Workplace Investigation

by Soft2share.com

Issues arise among your employees daily and it is your job as a business owner to manage these differences and prevent them from escalating. Issues can be brought to your attention by the employee in trouble, or by other employees or you may also become aware of it by reporting and observing workplace behavior. Most office tiffs can be sorted out and avoided quickly and easily, but when issues are related to discrimination, ethical violations, harassment, violence, or retaliation, it can be a bit difficult and you need to be prepared. Misconduct in a workplace can lead to unsafe conditions and it is your legal obligation to identify and address it according to your laws and standards by respecting all parties and strengthening your team. Here are a few steps to keep in mind when conducting a workplace investigation.

Decide whether to investigate-

Before you put on your detective mode, take some time to decide if you really need an investigation. If all employees agree on what happened or if the issue is minor then you don’t need to have a full-blown investigation. However, if the problem is much more serious then failing to have an investigation can lead to some trouble and continue your workplace issues. Just poke around a little and see how serious the issue is.

Take immediate action if needed

You may have to act right away, even before you investigate as if a situation is bad or volatile, it could harm your brand and send out the wrong message. If an employee is accused of sexual assault, stealing valuable trade secrets, or leaking out data to your competition, then you need to suspend the employee temporarily while you investigate and get your facts in order. Ensure that you don’t prejudge the employee until you have hard proof of what happened.

Review and set goals

Determine the merit a severity of the complaint, and the timeframe involved, and look to your rules, policies, and agreements which protect your employees. This information will give your corporate investigation an investigative strategy and structure. It’s always good to review your complaint and then take it into consideration depending upon how severe it is – setting a goal can help you resolve the dispute in the given time and ensure that your employees don’t get affected.

Appoint an investigator

While it is not recommended for you to handle your employees yourself you can always hire an impartial third party or an investigator who specializes in fraud investigation to help you with the matter. This investigator isn’t involved in the matter, nor does he have a close connection with your firm and employees. So, you can be sure that he will judge the situation based on his knowledge and skill. This will help you when it comes to making important decisions and taking your employees’ best care into the picture.

Report, make recommendations and act

The hired investigator will write and deliver a final report to the decision-makers along with the findings, recommendations, and measures for individuals and perhaps for the workplace. Post that prompt action is required on your part to help ensure that any misconduct doesn’t continue and the workplace is restored. You can meet with the Complaint and respondent team and explain all your findings, decisions about your next step, and the number of details.

In Conclusion

When workplace issues arise, it’s important to take action right away, investigate, make a plan and follow it through. Prompt action assures that you are creating and sustaining a safe, healthy, and protected working environment and that you look out for your employees while reducing the risk of liabilities or challenges. When hiring a workplace investigator ensure that you go in for someone who is trusted, skilled, reliable, and had knowledge of how to resolve these issues after hearing both sides of the story. Doing this can help protect your workplace and keep your employees happy. If the workplace issues aren’t sorted out, it can take a toll on the employees’ work which can, in turn, harm your customers. Negative publicity resulting from a poorly managed complaint can strike a blow to your brand both internally and externally.

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