HR compliance, Human Resources Training

Workplace Investigations 101: How to Conduct your Investigation Like a Pro

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When we think of workplace investigation, the thought that could usually come to mind is that of beginning investigations when complaints are received. While this is a laudable step, it is far less than satisfactory and falls short of the expectations and requirements from an organization.

An organization’s HR has to understand that workplace investigations are not those that are done only when an employee complains about someone or something. The role of HR should be in using investigations to discover and prevent wrongdoings and violations. These could expand to far more than routine investigations of misbehavior, for instance.

Workplace investigations should cover issues such as such as theft, safety or OSHA issues, retaliation, workplace violence vandalism, alcohol, drug or substance abuse, social media violations, company policy violations, transgressing the company’s policy on the environment, and so on.

It is the duty of the employer to investigate anything that necessitates an investigation. On the other hand, it is the duty of the employee to cooperate fully with the investigation, no matter how unpleasant she may feel about it. When these conditions are met, one does not expect too much trouble.

But what if the employee turns hostile during the investigation and becomes uncooperative and adamant? What if the witness too shows the same behavior? The ways of going ahead with a workplace investigation will be taught at a webinar that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional training for the human resources areas, will be organizing on September 26.

Susan Strauss, a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying, will be the speaker at this session. Please visit TrainHR to register for this webinar.

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It is crucial to document the investigation right from the first to the final steps. Understanding how to identify what constitutes a complaint, determining if an investigation is necessary, and getting a grasp of the key components of an investigation are some of the aspects that participants of this webinar will learn.

Another important aspect that Dr. Strauss will take up at this webinar is good documentation practices for workplace investigations. Participants will learn how to interview the accused, the accuser, and the witnesses, and understand the ways by which bring about an environment that is conducive to each of these. They will also learn to differentiate between formal and informal investigative procedures.

Dr. Strauss will teach simple but powerful techniques that go on to add tremendous value to a workplace investigation, such as how to detect if someone is lying. She will also highlight the importance of concluding and following up on an investigation and writing a formal report that is objective and comprehensive, and wins the praise of everyone concerned.

The core benefit that the participants will be able to walk away with from this learning is that they will learn how to conduct fair and impartial investigations that support a positive work environment, how to protect their employees, and how to decrease the risk of their organization’s liability.

Dr. Strauss will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Identify what constitutes a complaint
  • Determine if an investigation is necessary
  • Discuss the steps of an investigation
  • Explore the intricacies of interviewing the accuser, accused and witnesses
  • Demonstrate good documentation
  • Differentiate between a formal and informal investigative procedures searches
  • Determine credibility
  • Discuss tips on whether someone is lying
  • Help you reach a conclusion following an investigation
  • Follow up with appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation
  • Help you write a formal report outlining the investigation

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About the expert: Dr. Susan Strauss conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.

Dr. Strauss has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She has been featured on television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles.

 

 

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