The Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Conducting Workplace Investigations
Virtually all managers and HR professionals have found themselves in the position of having to investigate complaints of potential wrongdoing. Of course, employers are specifically required to investigate certain things, particularly allegations concerning harassment or discrimination. All such investigations should be prompt, neutral, thorough and effective. Even those complaints that do not touch upon a legally protected right are often the subject of investigations because employers strive to follow policies and to maintain morale and perceptions of general fairness in the workplace. This article overviews the most common pitfalls when conducting internal investigations.
PITFALL NO. 1: Failing to Promptly Begin the Investigation
PITFALL NO. 2: Failing to Use an Experienced and Neutral Investigator
PITFALL NO. 3: Punishing the “Victim”
PITFALL NO. 4: Not Having a Reporting Structure in Place
PITFALL NO. 5: Promising Confidentiality
Whenever HR personnel or management is approached with a complaint or a concern, they can indicate that it will be treated as sensitively as possible, but that it does need to be addressed by the company.