Most Effective Practices for Conducting Workplace Investigations – HR Affiliates Blog
Employers should take immediate action steps when an employee files a complaint. Being both proactive and responsive to internal complaints helps gather information quicker and increases the investigator’s chances of receiving the most accurate, and up-to-date details. Investigations help companies determine internal issues and resolve them before they become an issue across the board. With years of both specialized job training and experiences dealing with discrimination and harassment, HR Affiliates is here to not only conduct an investigation but to help you outline strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures to mitigate these situations from arising.
Identifying Deeper Internal Issues
Every complaint carries the possibility of becoming a lawsuit — if an employment lawsuit is filed against an employer in federal court there is a 70% chance the employee will win at least $165,000. The importance of having a protocol in place for investigations is imperative to protecting your business while addressing the case. Every investigation should be thorough and protect both parties involved. In addition to this, a protocol clearly conveys the rules, how complaints are reported and handled, and ensures that the investigator and employer approach each case with logic and not bias. Employee investigations are complex and require a string of strategic steps in order to efficiently address the issue. Having HR partners on your side throughout the process allows you as the employer to understand what aspects of your business need improvement, and what parts of your policies should be revisited — giving you the opportunity to work with HR to ensure your workplace adopts a zero-tolerance stance on harassment and discrimination. This topic is multi-faceted, so we’ve included a list of tips to add to your employee investigations checklist:
- Take action immediately. Take steps to prevent the situation from escalating, but be cautious of immediately terminating an employee without gathering all evidence first.
- Ensure confidentiality. Failure to keep the issue private can result in a lawsuit against the company, and ruin your reputation.
- Choose an investigator. This person/company should be up-to-date on employment laws. Most companies select HR as the investigator, as they have firsthand experience with workplace issues surrounding discrimination. Contact an HR consultant today
- Begin the investigation. This is the most complex step, as it requires a set protocol. This is essentially the beginning to reaching a resolution.
Keep in mind that the investigation you are conducting can be a sensitive topic. Any and every investigation is serious, and should not be taken lightly.
Choose Skilled HR Partners
All cases should be dealt with in a timely manner, following a clear-cut protocol to ensure every step is carried out with thoroughness and precision. At HR Affiliates, we strive to give your business the highest level of professionalism. Our mission is to address issues before they arise. We’re here to help instill the right policies and procedures to protect employees of all levels, positions, and backgrounds. Make your workplace a safe and inclusive environment for everyone by investing in HR to protect your team and bottom line. It’s never too late to build a thriving company culture that is founded on respect, dignity, and productivity.