When workplace disputes arise, many managers shoot first and ask questions later (HR always have to deal with the ‘bodies’!) Needless to say, this is likely to seriously flaw the disciplinary process and put the final outcome in doubt.
It is vitally important to collect and consider all the facts before taking any action. The fundamental purpose of a discipline or grievance investigation is to collect the facts. It's no more difficult than that.
But while a really rigorous investigation is essential to a well conducted process, many managers simply skate over the surface and either does not collect the relevant data or fail to take a sufficiently robust approach to data collection.
Problems with employees come in all shapes and sizes, from small matters such as timekeeping through to complaints of harassment, money or property going astray, poor work performance and accidents and injuries. When problems such as these occur, employers must investigate and determine, as far as is reasonably possible, what really happened.
There is no magic formula for conducting workplace investigations. They vary based on the issues and the people involved. Some investigations will be completed quickly with no need to interview witnesses.
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