Conducting an Investigation in the Workplace: Important Facts and Procedures

Workplace conflicts and issues are all too common, but they can often be resolved with a simple talk or a little understanding between co-workers or employers. But what if the workplace issue is a disciplinary one involving a worker’s conduct, behaviour, or performance? What if it involves an incident which has affected the company’s reputation, not to mention other employees? In cases like these, an investigation may be necessary. Here’s what you need to know about conducting investigations in the workplace: the most important facts and procedures.

The facts on workplace investigations

Workplace investigations are fact-finding procedures and exercises that are conducted in order to collect all the necessary information on a case or incident. With an investigation that is conducted in the proper manner, employers can make the right decision on an employee and their performance or conduct. Without a proper investigative procedure in the workplace, an employer can be liable for misconduct and may even face legal action.

Your purpose as an investigator

As an investigator, it is your duty to be objective and fair so you can establish the necessary facts on a case or incident. Your task is to look for evidence which can support the accusation or contradict the accusation.

Preparing for an investigation and investigative meetings

Before you conduct an investigation, you should first establish the terms of the investigation – including the rules the investigation must follow and what exactly needs to be determined. Your preparation should also involve drafting a plan as well as identifying who will need to be interviewed or called. If possible, identify the evidence needed as well as how you can get it. Afterwards, it’s time to notify the parties regarding an investigative meeting. The meeting should be held in a private area or location with no disruptions. Before the meeting, make sure to prepare all the required questions pertaining to the case or the incident.

Handling the investigative meeting

During the meeting, the statement of other employees or witnesses should be recorded and then converted into written form. This can easily be done by good transcription services, which can accurately transcribe witness or employee statements to be presented as written evidence. With help from transcription services, you can have all the written records you require. It is also important to gather other types of evidence, such as CCTV videos and the like.

With the evidence gathered, you can then prepare a report. State the facts of the case as well as the nature of the evidence. This written report will help you determine whether any further disciplinary action is necessary. If you have decided that a disciplinary hearing is required, then you can proceed with full confidence that you have done the investigation in the proper way.