Best Practices of Defensible Workplace Investigations

Product Id IQW15C6370
Speaker Teri Morning
Level Basic & Intermediate
Duration 60 Mins
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Knowing how to conduct an internal investigation in regards to a complaint, accident, 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 requires in today’s workplace. Where there are people, there will be problems. Any company with employees is guaranteed that one day there will be either complaints or problems discovered. Where there are problems, good investigatory and fact-finding skills are critical. Because with people being people, every situation will be different.

When an employer receives an allegation of workplace harassment, discrimination, or other misconduct, conducting an internal investigation is often a legal responsibility and/or necessary to limit liability. However, whether the investigation defends the company and limits their legal liability or blows up into an incredible, embarrassing mess (that incurs great liability) may depend largely upon HOW the investigation is conducted. The quality of the investigation conducted depends largely on the training the investigator received (or not.)

How do you begin an investigation? Then, how do you begin the interview? What questions do you ask? How do you know when you have all the accurate facts?  What do you tell (or not) to a witness? How do you determine that all witnesses have been forthcoming? Alternatively, have not purposefully been given misrepresentations of the facts? If you are talking to someone to find out what they know, that you do not - how would you know what information if any that a witness distorted, left out or used to misinform purposefully? How is an investigator to know the difference between someone’s inaccurate recollections vs. purposeful misrepresentation? How do you end an investigation? What do you tell (or not tell) employees? How do you know what to write in the report or keep the files?

From fact-finding to writing reports, at the end of this webinar you will be a more confident investigator.

From fact-finding to writing reports, this webinar will cover dos and don’ts of conducting workplace investigations. 

Employers conduct investigations for a variety of reasons; employee complaints, allegations of misconduct, losses of various types. The shared primary purpose of these investigations is the same - to find out the facts of a situation to determine a course of action to take - or not to take.

In these investigations, employers often depend heavily upon employee’s recollections. Most employees will do their best to be forthcoming, and recount truthful and factual information to the best of their abilities. Some employees will not, some going so far as to do the opposite of being truthful.

An investigator also needs to know how to write a good case report. Because just as a good investigation defends the actions an employer took (or not), the report reflects and supports the company’s decision-making (or not.) 

  • Taking complaints.
  • Investigatory best practice policies, procedures and protocols to have in place.
  • Interviewing witnesses, including uncooperative or angry ones.
  • How to handle physical, testimonial and documentary evidence.
  • Best practices in writing investigative reports.
  • Preventing and handling retaliation and interference.
  • Indicators of professional investigations. 
  • Employee Relations
  • Human Resources- Generalists, Business Partners, Managers, Directors, VPs
  • Safety
  • Management
  • Front line managers
  • Department managers
  • Plant managers
  • Small Business Managers
Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SHRM-SCP specializes in solving company “people problems.”
Teri is the founder and President of Hindsight Human Resources.www.hindsightcloud.com
Teri also sources HR software solutions for incident tracking, employee relations, safety (Incident Tracker), compensation (Compease) and performance management (Performance Pro).
Twenty+ years human resource and training experience in a variety of fields, including retail, distribution, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit companies.
Teri has enjoyed consulting with employers on their problems and trained managers and employees for over 20 years, meeting and working with employees from all types of businesses. In addition to a MBA, Teri has a Master degree in Human Resource Development with a specialization in Conflict Management.
Teri was certified by the State of Indiana in mediation skills.
Teri is currently certified in Project Management and IT Management, qualified as a Myers-Briggs practitioner and holds the SHRM certification of a Senior Certified Professional.

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