Effective Employee Internal Investigations Strategies for HR

An internal investigation is due any time of the year when an employer needs to assess employees, and it may be based on attitude, competence, performance, misconduct, safety, harassment, etc. The objective behind such an investigation is to find out facts on which the employer can rely to make an informed decision. When done correctly, such investigations can resolve conflicts and stop the issues from occurring again. It may also prevent the need for external investigations.
However, various factors can pose serious risks to these kinds of investigations. Bad information control; action taken according to poor evidence; and failure to act properly by the employer may compromise the legitimacy of employee investigations. In some instances, the employee may complaint that the investigation is baseless or fake – leading to lawsuits on the employer or human rights and privacy violation complaints.
An effective internal investigation can be conducted in different ways. One of them is, by being critical to the results found in the investigation*. After the information is duly gathered, it is critical to find concrete proof that stands up for the information being true. The next step is to determine an appropriate action. An employer should determine what action must be taken once the investigation report is submitted. Incidents are to be reviewed based on the severity of misconduct, the previous work history of the concerned employee, and cost of termination. The employer may also think of building an appeal process which demonstrates the importance to fairness and justice, and it may also serve as a vent to release the employee’s anger. The employer may also take up various post investigative measures to see whether the internal investigation is correct and effective.
The below mentioned tips can help in planning and executing an effective internal investigation** :
1. Respond properly to the employee who has raised the issue and make him/her comfortable. Make sure that they are in their comfort level when the problem is objectively addressed.
2. An initial interview with the concerned employee is important as it will clear out whether the issue can be resolved informally, or if there is need for an internal investigation.
3. Before taking up the interview, the employer must have an organized plan. This is a success ladder to an effective internal investigation.
4. The employer must be open to the accused employee. He/she should let the employee know a timeframe within which they can feel free to come back, if they want to share additional information.
5. When the employer has analyzed the facts gathered during the investigation and has a conclusion ready, he/she should recommend it to the appropriate manager and let the manager know about the right action that needs to be taken. Also, confidentiality of the concerned parties should be an important factor while gathering information.
Shoddy investigations do more harm than good***. Employers should make sure that if a serious problem is uncovered through investigation, a decision is taken in the right way towards the wronged employee and all the legal improprieties are addressed.
AudioSolutionz, the country’s leading business-enhancing information provider, will conduct a conference on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, where expert speaker Natalie Ivey will explain how to handle employee issues the right way. Participants will know about the critical action steps to handle the intake of complaints, learn to determine if it is necessary to conduct the investigation, and get the basic framework of an ideal or effective internal investigation.
For more information, visit http://www.audiosolutionz.com/hr-compliance-employment/employee-relations-internal-investigations.html
About AudioSolutionz
AudioSolutionz, the country’s leading source of business-enhancing information, has been providing knowledge and training to professionals on trending industry topics for more than a decade. With an esteemed panel of industry experts, it helps professionals get information directly from the veterans and get their queries answered directly. AudioSolutionz specializes in audio conferences, training webinars, transcripts and DVDs in more than 12 industries in the United States. It also offers training sessions on legal trends, court rulings, federal regulations, government policies and updates in HR and Payroll.
**http://www.acc.com/legalresources/publications/topten/internalinvestigations.cfm (Published on: November 09, 2010)