There is an implied legal responsibility upon all employers to conduct investigations into allegations of bullying/harassment competently, thoroughly, quickly and effectively by using the formal procedures of the organisational policy and procedure on workplace bullying. Investigating bullying and harassment claims is complex and even for seasoned investigators of other conduct related issues, this is new territory. Your investigators need to recognise bullying and harassment and to understand how to extract evidence and reach sound conclusions which can be notoriously difficult when it can be one word against another. It is critical that investigations are conducted in an appropriate manner as the investigation may influence the subsequent actions of the organisation. Tribunals of course will look to see that a fair process has been conducted in line with organisational policy.
The role of the specialist investigator
The specialist investigator needs to be adept at separating truth from fiction, gathering and testing evidence and also investigating in a sensitive yet robust way. There are some common skill sets which can be used in any investigation, but for this subject area, there are things which need to be done differently. The Andrea Adams Consultancy recommends that the Investigators selected by the organisation be as diverse as possible and provided with specialist training for this important role.
Skills and attributes for the role
We can provide a recruitment profile and skill specification for Investigators.
We take investigation skills training seriously and we provide robust training over 3 days which is then consolidated in a follow up day where delegates are asked to demonstrate their skills. This course takes your investigators ‘step by step’ through the investigation process they will need to adopt giving them opportunities at each stage to practice the skills they will need to expertly conduct an investigation.