Whether you run a small business or a big enterprise, it’s essential you investigate the root cause of conflicts and discrepancies in your company. This process requires strategic planning and a streamlined reporting system in place. A small mistake can completely alter the findings of your workplace investigation process.
Here is a list of mistakes you need to avoid in order to avoid setbacks in your workplace investigation process.
Mistake no.1: Unavailability of reporting mechanism
If an employee reports a problem, as an employer, you are liable to investigate the issue. Problems will remain unaddressed in absence of a reporting system. Your employees should know the process and chain of command they need to follow in order to file a complaint.
Apart from employees, your HR should know how to handle these claims without enticing a conflict amongst employees. Moreover, availability of a comprehensive system will reduce delays in addressing these situations.
Mistake no.2 Unnecessary Delay
Employees want to be heard; you need to immediately investigate complaints and claims.
If you believe that staying quiet for a while will suppress the issue, you are wrong.
When employees see employers disinterest, the matter can end up in court, which is something that you want to avoid at all costs. Hence, respond promptly and ensure the employee about your process.
Mistakes no.3: Collection Of Evidence Is Flawed
Failing to collect relevant evidence can reduce the authenticity of your investigation process.
Start by identifying documents and evidence required for a particular claim. Then preserve the document to prevent modification of the evidence.
Needless to say, they should be secured in a place where no employee can access it. Keep in mind the time sensitivity of the matter and acquire evidence before they become obsolete.
Lastly, record the chain of custody of the evidence material. How many participants were involved; how was the document transferred; and where was it kept. All this information is crucial in success of your investigation process.
Mistake no.4 Inefficient Biased Team
You need the investigator to be an independent party, rationally analyzing the situation at hand. If your investigation team has direct or indirect interest in the matter or a personal tie with the parties involved, then bias judgments are prone to emerge. Therefore, hire a third-party, HR advisory services to assist in resolving employee conflicts.
Mistake no.5 Poor Interrogation and Interviewing Skills
You need experienced interviewers onboard to carry a detailed research of the matter at hand. An expert would handle things in an unbiased manner, refer to the relevant evidence, press on issues that are important, and uncover underlying motives. They will deal with the participants without victimizing them, and navigate through the process in a diplomatic fashion.
Mistake no. 6: Punishing The Complainer
Unfair treatment of employees who come forward with a problem can not only discourage other employees to report future problems, but might also lead to a poor reputation in the market.
Mistake no.7: Baseless Conclusions
Investigation is followed by a rectification process; the party at fault needs to be reprimanded to discourage others from doing the same.
Make sure you are fair and effective in providing the right punishment.
Make your investigation process a success with DFRI. They provide consultancy and advisory services to individuals and organizations. They specialize in conflict resolution, and provide strategic solution that strengthens employee relationships.