When it comes to investigations, time is of the essence. Case management software helps investigators do more in less time. This is welcoming news for investigators, as the number of workplace incidents they have to investigate doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down any time soon. Case management software helps investigators manage their case loads, as well as every step throughout an internal investigation. This means that investigators will be able to spend more time out in the field actively pursuing investigations, rather than buried under paperwork at their desks.
Why time matters
The time it takes to investigate an incident will vary based on the type and severity of the incident. One thing all investigations have in common however is that they must begin right away. In the book, An Insider’s Guide to Workplace Investigations, author Meric Craig Bloch lists a number of reasons why timing is important in an investigation:
- Innocent people should be cleared as soon as possible.
- Corrective action is generally more effective when taken closer to the triggering event.
- Ongoing misconduct must be stopped as quickly as possible.
- Morale may suffer in the investigated department while waiting for the outcome.
- Delays create the perception that these reports are not important.
- Over time, it becomes difficult to obtain accurate statements.
- The investigation will assist in any legal action that may arise in connection with underlying matters.
Staying on track
We’ve already covered the importance of setting out objectives and planning for an investigation before diving in. Taking the time to figure out what steps need to be taken and what questions must be answered helps the investigation process run smoothly. Case management software helps investigators keep investigations on track thanks to the following features:
1. Investigator assignment: Automatic or manual case assignment email alerts are sent to investigators when they have been assigned a new case. The chosen investigator will be prompted to confirm their acceptance of the case, to make sure nothing is left off their radar.
2. Task assignment: Managers and other members of the investigative team can assign tasks to each other to help the investigation process move along. When someone is assigned a new task, they will receive an email alert and the task will be added to their list of responsibilities.
3. Alerts and notifications: Alerts and reminders can be set by an investigator to ensure the case progresses as planned. This is a great tool for investigators that have established a timeline at the outset of the investigation. Alerts can be created to notify you of upcoming due dates, as well as tasks that are overdue.
4. Escalations: Sometimes certain cases are more severe than others and require escalation. The same applies to tasks that are overdue or considered a main priority in the investigation. Alerts can be issued to escalate cases or tasks, bringing the investigators attention to the issue immediately.
5. Review and approve: Managers can go into a case to enter recommendations and review cases before they can be closed. Investigators are sent an email to let them know when a manager has made a recommendation within the case file. Here’s a video explaining how case management software helps investigators keep investigations on track: