What Are the Steps to Conduct an Investigation?


Quick Answer

To conduct a workplace investigation, determine if any interim actions are necessary, choose appropriate investigators, gather relevant documents, identify potential legal issues, and set a time and place for the investigation, advises BLR. Make sure witnesses are comfortable so that they will share information freely. After the investigation is complete, prepare an investigation report and take final action. Without revealing confidential information, advise the complaining parties that the matter was investigated.

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Full Answer

Before an investigation, you may need to transfer, reassign or place employees on leave temporarily, according to BLR. Choose investigators who have no involvement in the matter to be investigated. If possible, assign two investigators so that one may confirm what occurred during witness interviews.

Conduct the investigation away from the workplace if possible to make witnesses feel comfortable, advises BLR. Prepare a list of questions in advance to make sure you cover all relevant subject matter. Obtaining written statements from witnesses before interviewing them is useful as witnesses sometimes change their reporting of events.

Interview the complaining party first to determine the scope of the investigation, notes BLR. Be sure to ask witnesses if they have any relevant documents. Collecting all relevant data is important in the event of a lawsuit. Prepare a report after the investigation is complete that summarizes and analyzes relevant policies and procedures, facts and witness statements. Make factual findings in the report and recommend corrective action.

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