Internal investigations are delicate matters that require a great deal of tact and expertise. If not conducted properly, they can lead to all sorts of legal trouble for your business, such as wrongful termination lawsuits. And so, in this article, we’re going to discuss five common mistakes HR professionals make when conducting internal investigations.
1. Not Documenting the Investigation Process
One of HR professionals’ most common mistakes when conducting internal investigations is failing to document the process. This can be a costly mistake, as it can open up your business to legal liabilities. If you’re not diligent, you could find yourself in the middle of a wrongful termination lawsuit. So be sure to document everything, from the initial complaint to the final outcome of the investigation.
In addition, it will also help if the investigator is trained in the internal investigation as well as the legal aspects of employment law. Knowing these will help ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and within the bounds of the law.
2. Relying on hearsay
Another common mistake HR professionals make is relying too heavily on hearsay. This can be a problem because it can lead to false accusations and even wrongful termination. So, if you’re going to use hearsay, be sure to corroborate it with other evidence. Plus, it’s always a good idea to get the accused person’s side of the story.
3. Not Protecting the Confidentiality of the Investigation
Another mistake HR professionals make is not protecting the confidentiality of the investigation. This can be a problem because it can lead to a breach of confidentiality, which can damage your business’s reputation. Furthermore, it can also make it difficult to gather evidence. So be sure to keep the investigation as confidential as possible.
Only those who need to know about the investigation should be made aware of it. And be sure to use a secure means of communication, such as a password-protected email account.
4. Failing to Follow Up
After an internal investigation is complete, it’s important to follow up with all parties involved. It includes not only the person who made the complaint but also the accused. Be sure to let them know the outcome of the investigation and what steps will be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Internal investigations are delicate matters that require a great deal of expertise. By understanding these five mistakes, you can help ensure that your business is protected from legal liabilities. You may even encourage HR certificate programs to help avoid these mistakes and build a more effective HR department for your business.