When human resources function like a well-oiled machine, teams flourish and profits soar. However, when HR practices slide even a little off track, the resulting problems can be pervasive. Issues such as rapid turnover, employee fraud, workplace theft, and so many more can pop up as symptoms of an eroding corporate culture. Meanwhile, even the need for a single human resources investigation can leave a company open to potential litigation—placing a lot of pressure on an HR team that should be focused on forging a bright future rather than doing damage control.
If your human resources department has become mired in complaints and can’t seem to break the pattern, there’s a good change that your HR investigation protocol isn’t up to the task. Simply reaching for an HR investigation template sometimes isn’t enough—as reoccurring issues could be a sign of a concealed wider issue, or questions might be raised about the impartiality of those doing the investigating.
So, where is a business in the grips of an HR conundrum to turn? The answer lies with the skills of the external human resources investigator. This form of corporate investigator is ever-ready to provide expert insight into HR practices that may be letting you down. Even better, they will objectively take the lead on your delicate workplace investigation, so your in-house team can stop putting out fires, and start breathing again.
Potential Findings of a Human Resources Investigation
Through our corporate investigations work here at Lauth Investigations International, we help countless businesses tug on the thread of individual HR issues, revealing the root causes that lie behind previously impassable challenges. While the scope of work carried out by a human resources investigator from our team is potentially vast, here are some examples of what our collaborative workplace investigation might uncover:
Pervasive Workplace Theft A valuable piece of inventory has vanished and your HR team is on the case. However, is it possible that losses have been trickling away unchecked for months? A specialized corporate investigator can shed light on the situation before it gets out of hand.
A Pattern of Workplace Bullying or Harassment Many employers don’t see the connection between different HR investigations. A harassment complaint here and a discrimination complaint there may indicate a widespread problem that will soon land your company in hot water.
Unhealthy Recruitment Practices Perhaps shockingly, Business Insider places the cost of replacing a bad hire at anywhere between 30% and 400% of their annual salary. Misguided recruitment strategies are a financial drain that cannot be underestimated, so tackling this issue is a must.
Fraudulent Compensation Claims To your human resources team, your employees are familiar and friendly faces, encountered every day. This can make it tricky to be objective over compensation claims. An impartial external human resources investigator will be able to audit claims to make sure nobody’s taking liberties.
White Collar Crime
It’s one thing when employees stretch and bend the rules to their own advantage, but it’s another entirely when they walk onto the premises each day with the cool and calculated intention to commit crime and get away with it. When something doesn’t add up, don’t hesitate in bringing in a corporate investigator with the skills to uncover the deeds of those trying to cover their tracks.
An Impartial Outsider’s Value in a Human Resources Investigation
There’s no escaping that there are potential legal ramifications to any human resources investigation. The truth is that towing the line with an antiquated HR investigation process, pulling out the same tired old workplace investigation template, or being sloppy about choosing HR investigation questions for accused parties can all leave your business vulnerable to liability. When your company’s profit or reputation are on the line, turn to an external human resources investigator who can keep your HR procedures iron clad. The dedicated corporate team here at Lauth Investigations International are ready to answer your questions. Get in touch to find out more about how we can provide critical human resources support to your business moving forward.
The tricky thing about discrimination in the workplace is that damaging shots can be firing in all directions long before they appear on leadership’s radar. What begins as a veiled microaggression here and there can quickly escalate when a perpetrator feels emboldened. On the other side of the equation, when an employee finds themselves a victim of discrimination—whether on the basis of race, sexual orientation, age, gender, or disability—they may find it hard to know where to turn. If nobody raises the alarm, all too often, nobody pulls the trigger on a much-needed workplace HR investigation, allowing chaos to rule supreme.
Particularly when corporate culture has taken an unhealthy turn, the targeted employee may feel isolated and in fear of retaliation if they report their experiences. As such, it is always best to treat a discrimination complaint as the tip of the iceberg. Of course, you hope that the true extent of a far larger problem isn’t lurking below the surface—but you launch your workplace investigations as if it might be. Only then can you ensure that you’re doing your employees justice and protecting your company from unwelcome consequences on the road ahead.
The Key To Conducting Workplace Investigations
When a discrimination complaint lands on your desk, it’s understandable that you’d want to keep it on the down-low while you piece the facts together. However, this represents a perilous moment in terms of decision making, because every step taken may invoke complications if the complaint ever leads to litigation. You’re going to need to be able to demonstrate that workplace investigations were impartial, diligent, and by the book. If there is any doubt that your HR team can be objective when investigating complaints in the workplace, it is always best to call in an independent workplace investigator.
Equally important is keeping in mind that a one-size-fits-all workplace investigations template might leave a lot to be desired. If the right workplace investigation questions aren’t asked, or optimal workplace investigations best practices aren’t followed, the resulting report may not be worth the paper its printed on—leaving your business open to legal action from the complainant or an unfair dismissal suit from the accused. When the matter at hand is of a delicate nature, discreet third party workplace investigations support represents the safest and most responsible route.
How To Conduct a Workplace Investigation With External Assistance
When workplace misconduct investigations arise, a dedicated workplace investigator can provide unparalleled navigational assistance. Their presence will lift the burden of investigating colleagues from the shoulders of your HR team while ensuring minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations. When conducting workplace investigations, a trusted corporate investigator will harness a broad skill set including excellent interpersonal skills, strict confidentiality, practised information gathering, and—where necessary—surveillance techniques in the name of resolving the matter. The result is peace of mind for you and your team, and a workplace investigations report that you can trust. As an employer, you of course have a responsibility to nurture a discrimination-free environment for your employees. With this in mind, an increasing number of companies choose to get ahead of potential risk with periodic Corporate Culture Audits. This simple practice prevents the unhealthy environment within which discrimination might seed from becoming established. So, whether you are investigating complaints in the workplace or hoping to avoid the need to do so in the first place, Lauth Investigations is ready to assist. Learn more about our expertise in the area of workplace discrimination. Alternatively, contact our team directly to discuss your unique needs in detail, and receive a free no-obligation quote.
As never before, today’s consumers expect the brands they buy into to lead by example when it comes to equality and social justice. Any organization that allows workplace discrimination to run rampant is not only going to face the potential of legal repercussions, but also substantial reputational damage that is hard to bounce back from.
In contrast, when companies choose to take a hard moral line, express their values openly, foster strong corporate culture, and tackle any internal challenges head on, they can come out wearing a badge of honor in the eyes of their audience. So ask yourself, is your organization setting a shining example, or are you asleep at the wheel?
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
While workplace harassment of any kind should always be taken seriously, discrimination carries a particular weight. In essence, discrimination describes the unfair treatment of an applicant or employee on the basis of their skin color, race, national origin, religion, gender, sexuality, age, marital status, or handicap. In dealing with an issue that lands under both Federal and State employment and labor laws, employers are responsible for ensuring that discrimination does not find a home within the teams for which they are responsible.
Discrimination may arise in the behavior of a single rogue employee, or it may present as a pervasive aspect of a corroded corporate culture. It is also vital to be aware that prejudice and discriminatory behavior can emerge upon any rung of the corporate ladder, from low-level recruits right up to the C-suite.
Swift and Appropriate Action
In many cases, an employer may be entirely unaware that a member of their team possesses problematic qualities. However, ignorance can be unforgiving; when a complaint arises, the fallout can escalate quickly. If alleged discrimination is reported as a crime, those at the helm of HR for the company may find that they are not only navigating their own internal workplace investigations, but that law enforcement agencies are on the scene as well. Pressure to arrive at a fair and just resolution can mount even further if the workplace discrimination complaint arrives in the public eye.
When employers navigate discrimination complaints poorly, they not only risk untold damage to team morale and company perception, but also legal culpability for allowing discrimination to go unaddressed. In the midst of such a challenging situation—particularly when the accused is in a leadership role—HR personnel and upper management can find mounting an impartial workplace investigation particularly challenging. In this scenario, calling on the aid of an external expert can ensure the integrity and legal solidity of each step yet to be taken.
Hiring a Private Investigator When Discriminations Complaints Arise
Given the gravity of this type of complaint, bringing in the cavalry in the form of a private investigator can be invaluable. Highly skilled corporate investigators from Lauth Investigations are ready to offer the skill set required to deliver a fair and moral outcome. A seasoned investigator will take the lead on corporate investigations, reviewing background histories, interviewing witnesses, and documenting patterns until a full picture emerges. With surveillance capabilities and the capacity to go undercover at our fingertips, we will find the right strategy to reveal the information you need.
Private investigators specializing in corporate investigations are adept at working delicately alongside law enforcement, while maintaining confidentiality, and sensitively safeguarding both employee well-being and brand identities alike. We are poised to aid in the navigation of legal matters, and can help organizations deliver justice while avoiding potential employee retaliation litigation. Learn more about how we can assist when workplace discrimination complaints arise, discover the bountiful rewards of Corporate Culture Audits. We are always on hand, so contact our team to discuss the unique needs of your organization.