Having a great human resources team in place can make any executive feel as if they can take on the world. It makes sense that investing in dedicated employees who ensure that the caliber of your recruitment and training initiatives remain gold standard is a solid choice. But when the time comes to conduct a pivotal HR investigation, it’s crucial to ask the question: is your human resources team as impartial as you need them to be to protect your best interests?
Conducting corporate investigations often represents a minefield for leadership. Whether the issue on the table is workplace harassment, FMLA fraud, employee theft, or any number of other unwelcome occurrences, the steps you take next hold the power to elevate or undo your company’s standing.
Indeed, one misstep can set a course for litigation in relation to unfair dismissal or retaliation. If the current unfolding crisis is destined to lead you and your interests into the courtroom, even the faintest whiff of a lack of objectivity may well be your undoing. So lets look at the questions that you must ask yourself before leaving delicate matters in the sole hands of your HR team.
How Objective Are Your HR Staff Really?
When various departments share a single workplace, or even encounter each other on training and team-building days, bonds can be formed that might later cloud judgment and manifest as bias. What might that bias look like? Let’s explore some examples:
- Confirmation Bias
When your HR team has pre-formed beliefs about those they need to investigate—as is often the case when relationships have been formed—they may be prone to ignore crucial information that does not fit with what they believe to be true, and more likely to cherry-pick information that supports that bias.
- Bandwagon Bias
Sometimes also referred to as in-group bias, this tendency results in co-workers adopting an “us versus the world” mentality that result in favorable perception of those within the group and adoption of dominant shared beliefs or statements whether correct or not.
- Halo Effect Bias
The halo effect is often seen following a bad hire, making it a risk-factor within any HR department. In these instances, positive traits become the defining factor of an individual and overshadow clear evidence of wrongdoing on their part.
- Anchoring Bias
This common form of cognitive bias sees untrained HR investigators become anchored to a conclusion that evidence gathered early in the investigation seemed to justify, and the inability to pivot towards a more accurate conclusion as more facts are presented.
- Status Quo Bias
When an HR department looses its capacity to function dynamically with stale systems becoming habitually ingrained, status quo bias can manifest as resistance to the change that a critical HR investigation may warrant. The results of this unintentional negligence can be catastrophic as a dangerous course is continually justified.
Only One Chance to Get This Right
An HR investigation is a serious undertaking, and while training a team to handle such matters can be strategically advantageous, so too can be bringing in a skilled external corporate investigator to ensure that objectivity always remains intact. Corporate investigations experts from Lauth Investigations International can provide powerful impartial support to any weighty HR investigation, intricately analyzing facts to ensure accurate, evidenced, and legally sound conclusions are drawn.
Simultaneously, a professional corporate investigator can lift the burden of an HR investigation from shoulders that are already carrying a full workload. Our seasoned investigators are adept at mounting an efficient search for the truth, drawing upon skills that include specialist interviewing techniques, digital forensics, access to verified databases used by law enforcement, and much more.
We can diligently and discreetly unveil the facts while ensuring minimal disruption to operations that may already be exhibiting signs of strain—all while delivering an impartial results that protects your organization on the road ahead. Would you like to know more about how a corporate investigator from Lauth Investigations International can support your next HR investigation? Contact our team today and mitigate the risks of bias to your business.