Key areas where workplace investigations fall down.
All too often we see that investigations in the workplace are not taken seriously and could be better. An effective and efficient investigation can save a company a significant amount of money and time and it is important that managers have the skills to be able to carry them out.
Investigations are there to establish facts and to provide a basis to make an informed decision. It is always advised that if a particular issue can be managed informally then do so.
What could it cost to you?
A poor investigation may;
• Elongate a disciplinary with further investigation having to be carried out by the Disciplinary Chair;
• Increase in Appeals- more management time required, increases negative employee relations and higher risk of litigation.
• Act in a timely manner. Too often, investigations take longer than they should. This can cause stress and anxiety for not only the employee being investigated but the investigator too.
• Keep an open mind and be objective.
• Don’t be afraid to clarify or ask further questions if needed. In our experience we see investigations not probing further enough in to a particular point which is crucial to the whole investigation. Although we do not want to take too much time going backwards and forwards, establishing a clear idea of what has happened is crucial.
• Do not make the decision, this is not the role of an investigator.
• The investigator should not be involved in the issue that is being investigated and should also not be chairing the disciplinary or grievance.
We would advise, where possible, using an external specialist. If this is not an option, investigation training for managers would provide the necessary skills required. At Peach we are able to carry out investigations in the workplace objectively and take the stress of the investigation from management. Contact us to find out more on 0161 478 3800.