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How To Avoid Tainting A Workplace Investigation

(3-5 minute read)

When dealing with workplace investigations, managers and leaders need to be very careful with the role they take and avoid “tainting” the investigation. As managers or leaders in an organization, our human instinct is to solve workplace problems or in other words, “make things right.” Workplace investigations need to be thorough, independent and analytical.

Some simple advice for managers is twofold; first, get out of the way, second, zip your lip.

Let your HR manager or HR business partner conduct the investigation without any involvement from you as a manager. Of course, managers need to cooperate and support the investigation. Getting too involved during the investigative process may affect how employees will respond. Employees may not be truthful out of fear for their own jobs. Or, an employee may not talk at all which impacts the thorough nature of the investigation. Additionally, keep the investigation as confidential as possible. From an outside agency, such as an attorney, over-involvement from a manager will not be viewed as an independent investigation. Again, compromising the investigation as a whole.

Trust your HR Manager/Business Partner to do their job, and evaluate the investigation at the conclusion/recommendation stage.


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April 25, 2019




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