Bob Arden, Negosentro | Entrepreneurs already have enough on their plate. Yet among all the other day-to-day responsibilities and firefighting that entrepreneurs have to deal with, few expect that they will have to conduct an investigation into employee misconduct. However, workplace investigations are far more common than some may believe. In fact, HR professionals can spend as much as 60 percent of their time working to resolve workplace disputes. Because HR is just one of the many hats entrepreneurs often wear during the initial phase of their startups, knowing how to conduct a proper and thorough workplace investigation is an overlooked-but-critical skill for them to have.
Whether the investigation is triggered by an employee’s suspected drug use, a complaint of sexual misconduct, an infraction of company rules or anything else, entrepreneurs need to know how to conduct that investigation properly. Mishandling a workplace investigation can be extremely costly, especially for an entrepreneur already working overtime to get his or her business off the ground. If an investigation is not conducted with the utmost professionalism and transparency, business owners may find themselves open to legal and financial consequences far more serious than the damage caused by the inciting incident.
A workplace investigation needs to be conducted with the same amount of care and discretion as a criminal investigation conducted by law enforcement. No matter how small the organization, leadership needs to conduct any investigation into alleged misconduct with fairness and due process. That means entrepreneurs should collect evidence, consider it and take appropriate action, while remaining completely transparent about the process with all involved parties. Following the proper framework for an investigation can help ensure that startups won’t be vulnerable to legal challenges that can take time and money away from running the business. The following guide outlines the steps that need to be taken so a workplace investigation can be run properly.
Author bio: Bob Arden has been a licensed private detective in Illinois for over 30 years with Arkus, Inc. He has provided investigative services to Fortune 500 companies, attorneys, insurance companies as well as private individuals. His experience and knowledge has led to successful results for the client.