What Do You Do When A Workplace Investigation Ends?

The interviews are done, facts and evidence have been collected, and the report was written and handed over to management – now what?

Posted by Joe Gerard in on February 14th, 2011

The interviews are done, facts and evidence have been collected, and the report was written and handed over to management – now what? What does your organization do with the information gathered from allegations and investigations? Please don’t say “nothing,” and if you do, this post’s for you! The information gathered from an investigation is far too valuable to be abandoned immediately. In a world where prevention is everything, investigation information allows organizations to learn from prior incidents to prevent them from happening again. Investigations can uncover real issues that exist in your organization that require immediate attention.

Prevention

Employers are liable for preventing misconduct – there’s no room for negligence. Information from allegations and investigations should be used to make improvements in the workplace. Identifying “problem areas” within your organization and understanding how the incident occurred makes it possible to take the necessary steps to prevent the issue from occurring again. Misconduct can only be prevented when action is taken by employers to prove that they are serious about cracking down on misconduct. The goal of every investigation should be to figure out what the problem is and what precautions can be taken to prevent it in the future.

Employee Training

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If nothing changes after a complaint is made or an investigation occurs, how can you expect your employees to change their actions? Sometimes it’s necessary to re-train all of your employees and not just the person who committed the misconduct. Case management software provides managers and investigators with the ability to track and identify trends in the workplace – based on investigation information. Trends can be identified by location or allegation/investigation type.

In the book “The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations,” Lisa Guerin, J.D, mentions that investigation information can serve as a real eye-opener into some of the causes of inappropriate behaviours in the workplace, such as:

  • Employee confusion over company rules or actions considered appropriate for the workplace.
  • Managers needing assistance dealing with employees and their problems.
  • Brushing previous incidents aside rather than dealing with them.

This information is often used to help HR or compliance prepare employee training programs that are targeted at the issue identified, rather than general training focused on concepts they already grasp. This means you’ll be providing your employees with higher quality training and making better use of your resources, such as time and money.

Policy Overhaul

Knowing which types of misconduct occur where makes it possible to hone in on specific issues. In some cases, policies need to be revisited and reviewed with employees at a particular location. You can also take this opportunity to make changes to your policies so that they reflect any new or amended laws.


Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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