Case managers know that workplace investigations have a tendency to be fatiguing and drawn-out processes. Wading through the waters of all the ranging factors, from being appropriately responsive to the parties involved to choosing the proper investigation questions, makes creating an effective yet efficient investigation process no small feat. By implementing these four tips, workplace investigations can be handled expeditiously without compromising a thorough resolution.
1. Train and Prepare Case Managers Prior to Conducting Investigations in the Workplace
While it may seem like common sense, many companies can stand to gain by improving their workplace investigation training. Case managers must be prepared before going up against the numerous duties the role assumes. An investigator ought to be prepared to deal with cases efficiently without prematurely arriving at conclusions. This can be done by maintaining a training program facilitating the development of the necessary attributes and skills of HR and case professionals.
For example, successful case managers are behooved to navigate between employees asking for case updates, and administrators looking to rapidly finish up the investigation and proceed onward. It is case management’s responsibility to have an established protocol for handling these objections, or risk hindering the investigation’s results. In short, sufficiently training and preparing case managers for the role will save time and resources by enabling them to investigate and resolve cases more effectively.
2. Ensure the Investigation Process is Organized and Well-Documented
Maintaining consistent policies and procedures among investigators in your organization will pay dividends, particularly in making it less demanding for an investigator to audit or review closed cases with comparable issues. While every workplace investigation is unique, having the capacity to utilize the work from a previous procedure facilitates the management of present investigations.
Consistency in the workplace investigation process also shields the organization from legal affliction. Reports that were recovered, the people who were talked to and the case resolutions are all relevant in how a present investigation should be approached.
3. Have a Plan of Action
Once a claim is made, it is incumbent on the case manager to take a deep breath and consider how to best approach the investigation. What data is appropriate to the investigation? What reports should the investigator analyze? With whom would it be a good idea for them to talk to? And at what point should they talk to them? These are all essential questions to be reviewed by the case manager. Arrange what is required and then find a way to gather proof and start interviews.
4. Be Proactive
Workplace investigations aren’t to be drawn to a close without a responsive disposition, nor should they be broken down through the viewpoint of the administration’s desired outcome. Employees may become distinctly frustrated by the length of the investigation. Case managers should proactively remain in contact with parties involved to ensure they know their issue has been taken seriously – and calm their nerves in regards to longer investigations. The case manager should also touch base to address any questions the employees involved may have, or to give follow-up inquiries. In the event that employees request data with respect to an open case, investigators should communicate progress when possible while keeping confidential information to themselves. Be that as it may, lines of correspondence should stay open throughout the investigation.
After investing time and resources into implementing these best practices, case management teams will find that workplace investigations do not have to be so laborious and antiquated. Training and preparation, organization and proactive action planning are what it takes to enable your organization’s workplace investigation process to be thorough and efficient.