If you haven’t already read “The 5 Worst Reasons for Not Conducting HR Investigations”, you may want to start there. Sure, it’s fun to get a chuckle over other people’s excuses, until we realize how often investigations are being avoided. But investigations don’t have to be scary, chaotic or disruptive. As a 26-year HR Professional with a focus on employee relations, culture building and investigations, I can tell you from experience there are some positive outcomes in the workplace from employee investigations done right. So, I will share with you the Top 5, not from reading it somewhere, but from experience. It may surprise you to see that liability protections, financial savings and a reduction in turnover did not even make the top 5. That’s because when you start doing investigations well, those things will fix themselves.
Top 5 reasons to conduct employee investigations
- Managers become better managers when they know that there are standardized business processes in place that are followed regularly, and can make managing difficult employees easier.
- Employees who know that there is a respectful process in place for resolving workplace conflict, know what that process looks like, AND have seen it be used frequently to resolve issues with a positive outcome, are more engaged in their work.
- Complainers (or dramatizers as I like to call them) will begin to think twice when they come in to complain about every little thing when they know that HR will dig in to the details and they could be held accountable for spreading non-truths.
- When employees are trained on how to communicate better between themselves, and experience what a civil and respectful workplace looks like, they are more likely to address problems with each other first. And bystanders are more likely to get involved.
- When employees are confident that issues brought forward in good faith will be respectfully handled, without retaliation, unacceptable behaviors are brought forth much earlier allowing for simpler resolution with less impact to the workforce.
If you have questions about how this may work, situations that you think could have been resolved better and want to know how, or have seen a civil, respectful and consistent process not work, please comment and let me know. Let’s try to find a resolution together.
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