When an issue arises that requires a workplace investigation it can be the start of a long and expensive process for an organization, especially if HR makes mistakes early on. What can you do to make sure your investigations hold up to scrutiny?
The biggest mistake human resources professionals make in investigations is diving in head first without proper planning,
“You really need to invest time in the front end: who do you need to talk to, how are you going about it, what is the purpose, what are the other risks?”
For example, if the main goal is simply to gather information then it may be wise to tell employees that they will not be disciplined for being open. However, if you think discipline is a likely outcome then people should be informed, and should have the opportunity to contact their union rep or counsel.