As an HR, you may be tasked with conducting an internal investigation at some point in your career. Internal investigations can be daunting, but understanding the basics will help make the process go more smoothly. The purpose of an internal investigation is to gather facts and evidence to determine whether or not wrongdoing has occurred. So, let’s take a look at what you need to know to get started and how to go about conducting an investigation.
1. Define the Problem
The first step in any internal investigation is to clearly define the problem. What are you investigating? What are the allegations? Who is involved? By understanding the problem, you can then determine what facts and evidence you need to collect. If the problem is not clearly defined, it will be difficult to know what to look for and where to start the investigation. Additionally, if you don’t have a clear understanding of the problem, you may end up investigating the wrong thing.
2. Identify the Stakeholders
The next step is to identify who the stakeholders are in the investigation. These are the people who have a vested interest in the outcome of the investigation. The stakeholders will usually include the person who made the complaint, the accused, and any witnesses. It’s important to identify the stakeholders early on so that you can keep them updated throughout the investigation and ensure that their rights are protected. Remember, the goal of an internal investigation is to find the truth, not to assign blame.
3. Collect the Facts
Now it’s time to start collecting the facts. This is where things can get a bit tricky. You will need to gather evidence to support or refute the allegations. This evidence can come in many forms, including documents, emails, witness statements, and more. It’s important to be as thorough as possible when collecting evidence. This means looking at all sides of the story and not just the evidence that supports your hypothesis. Once you have all of the facts, you can then start to piece together what happened.
4. Write the Report
The final step in the process is to write the report. This is where you will summarize the findings of the investigation and make recommendations based on what you found. The report should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should also be objective and free of any bias. You will need to include all of the evidence that you gathered during the investigation in the report. This will help to support your findings and recommendations.
Conducting an internal investigation can be a daunting task, but understanding the basics will help make the process go more smoothly. It will also help if you check out online HR certifications to make sure you are updated with the latest trends and practices. Internal investigations are important in ensuring that companies are operating ethically and legally, so it’s important to take the time to do them right. Thanks for reading!