3-hr Virtual Seminar: How to Conduct Workplace Investigations - Best Practices And Know How

Instructor: Teri Morning
Product ID: 703200
  • Duration: 3 hrs

recorded version

1x Person - Unlimited viewing for 6 Months
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Recorded Link and Ref. material will be available in My CO Section

Training CD

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CD and Ref. material will be shipped within 15 business days

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This HR compliance training will provide you the best practices for conducting effective workplace investigations. Learn how to avoid retaliatory behavior towards individuals involved in investigations or making complaints.

Course "3-hr Virtual Seminar: How to Conduct Workplace Investigations - Best Practices And Know How" has been pre-approved by HRCI as eligible for 3 credits towards a participant's recertification upon full completion.
“The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program”.

Why Should You Attend:

When a complaint is received, or the employer becomes aware of a potentially problematic situation, the employer is on notice that there may be a problem. There are also many types of workplace investigations that never start with a direct complaint.

But since many companies do not have a person who does investigations as their job and the few persons pressed into service as investigators are often untrained; an untrained person trying to handle an investigation has the potential to escalate a small problem into a bigger problem.

Many employers struggle to gather information during witness interviews in investigations. Many employees, for a variety of reasons, are reluctant to be involved and can be less than forthcoming. Friends of employees and those accused of an offense are often downright angry and vengeful. In investigations, to meet employer obligations, it's crucial that interviews are structured to capture and gather all available accurate information, notwithstanding employee emotions that are often running high.

This webinar will teach attendees best practices for conducting effective workplace investigations in regards to a complaint, an accident, or upon receipt of reports of misconduct or even in regards to a performance situation. It will cover how to take a complaint, the investigative process, tools and tips for conducting effective witness interviews and much more.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Employer Compliance Considerations in Investigations: Why doing a good investigation is so crucial to limiting legal liability.
  • How to Take a Complaint: This key to a good investigation is more important than you may think!
  • Recognizing HR’s Role in an Investigation: How this role differs from regular HR work processes.
  • The Investigative Process: Without a consistent process, you never know where your faulty investigation may end up but you can be sure it will not be a good place.
  • The Interview: How to get good, factual information from witnesses and how you will know it is credible.
  • Decision Making: How to make defensible decisions concerning the correct action to take.
  • After the Investigation: The investigation is over…or is it? Closing an investigation.

Detailed Agenda:

  • 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PST: Modules 1 – 3
  • 11:30 AM – 11:40 AM PST: Q/A Session for Modules 1-3
  • 11:40 AM – 12:50 PM PST: Modules 4-6
  • 12:50 PM – 1:00 PM PST: Q/A Session for Modules 4-6
MODULE 1: Legal Compliance: Minimizing Liability Risks
  • Employer obligations: When you are legally required to investigate and/or take immediate corrective action.
  • 10-step preparation: What every investigator needs to do before talking with the first witness.
  • Basic rights to privacy: Monitoring email and phone calls. Social media. Invasion of privacy or an employer’s right to know.
  • Clarifying the laws: Civil rights and antidiscrimination, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), disability, and health and safety laws.
  • Retaliation red flags: How to avoid the expensive liability risks.
MODULE 2: Strategic Planning: Processes and Procedures that Yield Results
  • The essentials of investigative planning and preparation.
  • How to take an accurate initial complaint or incident report – the backbone of your investigation!
  • How to build a timeline.
  • Selecting the right investigators to minimize perception of bias or conflict of interest, and to maximize the chances of gathering evidence.
  • Gathering preliminary evidence and maintaining proper evidence controls.
  • Preparing for witness interviews.
MODULE 3: Effective Witness Interviews: Getting to the Truth
  • Tape recording: A good idea or not.
  • Body language: How to observe and interpret the clues of body language.
  • Representation: When employees are entitled to representation.
  • Interview questions: Good questions that get to the truth of the matter.
  • Reluctant witness: Critical strategies for getting reluctant witnesses to cooperate.
  • Hostile witness: How to handle a “hot head” during an interview.
MODULE 4: Investigative Challenges: Keeping Your Investigation on Track
  • Taking the lead: Getting management to support your investigation.
  • Uncooperative supervisors: Strategies for handling difficult leaders who try to impede your investigation.
  • Tough intimidation issues: Handling a senior leader who does not appreciate your investigatory efforts.
  • Communication: Presenting an “unpopular” investigative recommendation.
  • Rumor mill: Minimizing the disruption to the work environment.
MODULE 5: Effective Documentation Processes and Writing the Final Report: Elements of A Professional Report
  • Document control essentials and recordkeeping: How to manage the information you gather to have it work for you—not against you.
  • How to achieve closure when your investigation is inconclusive.
  • Recommending prompt, appropriate action: What should and should not be included in your report.
  • Identifying the vital components of an effective investigative report.
MODULE 6: After the Investigation: Closure and Monitoring
  • Closure of the investigation. What you should do and not do.
  • Implementing effective documentation strategies to maintain organization.
  • Establishing secure files and records to avoid breaches in confidentiality.
  • Monitoring for retaliation.
  • What to do if you get a claim of retaliation.

Who Will Benefit:

  • Anyone who has to do investigations, fact findings, or solve employee relations problems and disputes.
  • Plant Managers
  • Front Line Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Branch Managers
  • Those with Employee Relations positions

Instructor Profile:

Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SPHR, SPHR-CA is the President of her own HR Consulting firm and partner in a new investigatory software firm, HindsightHR. Ms. Morning has over 15 years 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 a MBA, she has a Master's degree in Human Resource Development with a specialization in Conflict Management. She 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).

Topic Background:

Wherever there are employees, there are employee relations issues. Every company will inevitably encounter times when they must conduct an internal investigation.

Knowing how to conduct an internal investigation in regards to a complaint, an accident, or upon receipt of reports of misconduct or even in regards to a performance situation, is one of the most critical skills every manager and certainly, every HR professional needs in today’s workplace.

Even routine investigations can uncover unexpectedly ugly aspects of the people and/or even of the company so untrained investigators even operating under the best, most routine of circumstances may not do nearly enough to uncover the problem, be easily dissuaded from doing anything at all or not protect complainants and witnesses from being retaliated against. Learning on the job can be costly in a number of way to the employer, not just in attorney fees or judgments, but also in loss of employees, damage to morale, vicious gossip and damage of reputations and loss of productivity that can take years to repair.

A professional investigation helps an employer defend against legal liability and can send a message to employees that they work for an ethical company.

However, whether the investigation, from fact-finding to writing reports, defends the company and limits your legal liability or blows up into an incredible, embarrassing mess (that incurs even greater liability) may depend largely upon HOW the investigation is conducted.

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