Difficult Investigations - Liars, Multiple Complaints, Overlooked Complaints and Handling Other Difficult Situations

Instructor: Teri Morning
Product ID: 703837
  • Duration: 60 Min

recorded version

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Employee relations issues can quickly turn into compliance issues. In theory, investigating seems easy but in reality, more often than not it is not and can turn into real chaos quite quickly. This webinar will cover methods and techniques to smooth the way through the most difficult part of any investigation; untangling the real issues of a complaint and interviewing smoothly; garnering accuracy and cooperation from scared, difficult, combative, angry and upset complainants and coworkers.

Why Should You Attend:

Upon an employer commencing to investigate, many employees will do their best to be forthcoming, and recount truthful and factual information to the best of their abilities. However, not all employees are cooperative, forthcoming or even honest. In workplaces, deception, omission and interference can flourish and with the unhappy result of an employee being reprimanded or retaliated for actions they weren’t accountable for. Others, who should be held accountable, are not. Such conduct often continues, even escalates because the failed investigation in some respects, validated the employee(s) and encourages a repeat of the conduct and often even retaliation against parties. The failed investigation leaves documentation that the employer knew of, mishandled the problem, and perhaps even ignored retaliation. This webinar will focus on delivering solutions for such scenarios that usually pave the way for possible legal liability for the employer.

The course will discuss why it is important for employers to get to the bottom of situations as best as they can in a factual manner without being waylaid by drama, bad memories, and high emotions and sometimes even outright lying.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Processes and procedures to get your ducks in a row before you ever start an investigation.
  • How to untangle issues and elements of a complaint. How to triage issues of a complaint to determine what the employer should be investigating, the manager should be resolving and for what the employee is accountable.
  • Starting an interview in a way that is friendly but authoritative enough that most witnesses will be truthful and forthcoming from the beginning.
  • How to ask good questions to get good answers.
  • How to tell the difference between misinterpreted recollections vs. purposeful distortion or even providing misinformation.
  • Telling the difference between a witness's selective memories vs. human forgetfulness.
  • Determining if the investigator did not ask a good question vs. a witness's purposeful omission.
  • How to get to facts that were omitted whether purposefully or not.
  • Getting to the bottom of inference and untangling the web of deception.
  • Interviewing those who disorder, complicate, blow up and back track.
  • Forget TV - The 5 best ways to tell if someone is lying to you.
  • How to handle a hostile even lying witness.

Who Will Benefit:

  • Supervisors
  • HR Associates
  • Managers and Generalists
  • Employee Relations
  • Managers
  • Plant Managers
  • Business Owners

Instructor Profile:

Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SPHR, SPHR-CA, is the president of her own HR consulting firm and is a partner in a new investigatory software firm, HindsightHR. Ms. Morning has over 15 years’ of human resource and training experience in a variety of professional fields, including retail, distribution, finance, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit company structures.

She has consulted with employers on their problems and trained managers and employees for over 15 years, meeting and working with employees from all types of businesses. In addition to an MBA, she has a master's degree in human resource development with a specialization in conflict management. Ms. Morning was certified by the State of Indiana in mediation skills, is qualified as a Myers-Briggs practitioner and holds the dual SHRM certification of a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources – California (SPHR-CA). She is a certified financial counselor; she recently completed a certification in IT management, and is currently working on a project manager certification.

Topic Background:

Employers conduct investigations for a variety of reasons: employee complaints, background checks, allegations of misconduct, and losses of various types. These investigations are an everyday, common, and necessary function of HR. The shared primary purpose of these investigations is the same - to find out the facts of a situation to determine a course of action to take - or not to take.

In training classes, most exercises use scenarios of factual, logical, organized and cooperative employees. Therefore, in theory, investigating seems easy but in reality, more often than not it is not and can turn into real chaos quite quickly. In the real world, employee situations rarely if ever are the same. Most employees that have a complaint share more than one issue, often have different issues, other times entangled issues. Emotions run high and affect recollections and employers often have to depend heavily upon these employee recollections. Other times problems have festered for a long time and affected other aspects of employment. However, employers still have to conduct factual investigations even in spite of these complicated situations.

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