Introduction

Wherever there are employees, there are employee relations issues. Every company will inevitably encounter times when they must conduct an internal investigation. Knowing how to conduct an internal investigation in regards to a complaint, an accident, or upon receipt of reports of misconduct or even in regards to a performance situation, is one of the most critical skills every manager and certainly, every HR professional needs in today’s workplace. A professional investigation helps an employer defend against legal liability and can send a message to employees that they work for an ethical company. However, whether the investigation, from fact-finding to writing reports, defends the company and limits your legal liability or blows up into an incredible, embarrassing mess (that incurs even greater liability) may depend largely upon HOW the investigation is conducted.

Area Covered In The Webinar

  • Employer Compliance Considerations in Investigations—Why doing a good investigation is so crucial to limiting legal liability.
  • How to Take a Complaint—This key to a good investigation is more important than you may think!
  • Recognizing HR’s Role in an Investigation—How this role differs from regular HR work processes.
  • The Investigative Process—Without a consistent process, you never know where your faulty investigation may end up but you can be sure it will not be a good place.
  • The Interview—How to get good, factual information from witnesses and how you will know it is credible.
  • Decision Making—How to make defensible decisions concerning the correct action to take.
  • After the Investigation—The investigation is over…or is it? Closing an investigation.

Why should you attend?

When a complaint is received, or the employer becomes aware of a potentially problematic situation, the employer is on notice that there may be a problem. There are also many types of workplace investigations that never start with a direct complaint.

But since many companies do not have a person who does investigations as their job and the few persons pressed into service as investigators are often untrained; an untrained person trying to handle an investigation has the potential to escalate a small problem into a bigger problem.

Many employers struggle to gather information during witness interviews in investigations. Many employees, for a variety of reasons, are reluctant to be involved and can be less than forthcoming. Friends of employees and those accused of an offense are often downright angry and vengeful. In investigations, to meet employer obligations, it's crucial that interviews are structured to capture and gather all available accurate information, notwithstanding employee emotions that are often running high.

Even routine investigations can uncover unexpectedly ugly aspects of the people and/or even of the company so untrained investigators even operating under the best, most routine of circumstances may not do nearly enough to uncover the problem, be easily dissuaded from doing anything at all or not protect complainants and witnesses from being retaliated against.

Learning on the job can be costly in a number of way to the employer, not just in attorney fees or judgments, but also in loss of employees, damage to morale, vicious gossip and damage of reputations and loss of productivity that can take years to repair.

Who Will Benefit

  • Anyone who has to do investigations, fact findings, or solve employee relations problems and disputes.
  • Plant Managers
  • Front Line Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Branch Managers
  • Those with Employee Relations positions

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Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SHRM-SCP, is President of Hindsight Human Resources, LLC. and specializes in solving company “people problems.” Teri also sources software solutions for compensation and pe Know More

Teri Morning