There are many benefits to be gained from a successful workplace investigation. Your time and effort either leading the investigation or working with an outside investigator can be very helpful to your organization for several reasons.
Early Intervention — Determining What Occurred
The immediate aim of all investigations should be to determine what exactly happened – even THE BAD – to be able to stop it. Or, if nothing happened, to determine why someone is complaining. Either way, hopefully your investigation with result in an early understanding of workplace culture issues. A proper investigation will reveal workplace issues one way or another, enabling business leaders to create a plan for further action and avoid potential workplace liability.
Addressing and Correcting Workplace Culture Problems
Usually through an investigation, you are able to identify potential negative/detrimental workplace culture issues. The issues you spot are then identified and the opportunity to correct them is available. This presents the opportunity for positive workplace culture changes that enable your organization to shift towards inclusion, diversity and a friendly place to work for your talent.
Enforce Company Policies
Company policies should be followed, not violated. Showing employees that your company actually looks into policy violations when it comes to workplace conduct sets the right tone. You are able to show through your investigation that you care about your company policies and guidelines and that your organization is prepared to present consequences for misconduct.
Encourage Employee Communication and Reporting
Investigating and dealing with problems quickly will encourages employees to come forward with their issues and concerns. This means that you’ll hear about workplace trouble right away before it has a chance to grow into a more serious problem. Your workforce will become comfortable with your Human Resources and/or Senior Management teams if employees feel safe reporting their concerns.
Reduce or Eliminate Liability
A successful investigation, regardless of the outcome, will help your company avoid or defend against lawsuits in the future. IF misconduct has occurred and it is stopped, liability potential is reduced. If it didn’t occur and that finding is properly documented, you have developed a solid defense to any formal employee lawsuit. Either way, it is a “WIN WIN.”