In running a business, there will come a time when you just feel that something isn’t quite right, that some aspects of the organization just don’t make sense, or that an employee is behaving in a suspicious manner. As a business owner or a manager, you might have thought about conducting a workplace review, but then someone suggested that what ought to be done is a workplace investigation. While both aim to get to the root of whatever problem your workplace is experiencing, they are two different things, and we’ll tackle their differences as well as what might be best for your company in this post.
Workplace Review VS Workplace Investigation – The Differences
Generally speaking, workplace reviews are done even without any raised concern or even when you do not suspect that there is a problem. It is usually performed just to ensure that everything is just fine. In contrast to that, workplace investigations are conducted as a response when a concern was brought up by an employee or employees.
Below are some key features of workplace investigations:
- There is a complaint that warrants a response.
- The complaint should be specific and filed by a complainant in writing to be investigated upon.
- The investigator will balance the facts and probabilities based on the complaint and submit a written report to the employer who will then use the report to make a decision.
As for workplace reviews, below are its key features:
- Reviews are initiated by the employer with or without a complaint being made, because of this, a workplace review has no need for a named complainant or a specific complaint.
- A consultant will look into the matter and speak to a larger group of employees.
- Each employee will then have an opportunity to speak to the consultant in private and raise issues that may need to be looked upon if any.
- Procedural fairness does not apply to workplace reviews because there are no complaints or allegations against particular employees.
- The consultant simply submits a written report to the employer which summarizes the issues and concerns raised by the employees. This written report will contain notes of the consultant’s discussions with the employees. These notes, along with the consultant’s comments can be used by the employer for decision-making purposes.
Choosing Between a Workplace Review and a Workplace Investigation
Although Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. undertakes both workplace investigations and workplace reviews, we usually speak first with the business to determine what’s needed.
We suggest a workplace investigation when there is a serious complaint, when a disciplinary action may need to be taken against an accused employee, when the employer senses that something very wrong is going on, when an employer needs a third party point of view to help with decision-making, or when some matters may necessitate legal action.
A workplace review is suggested when the employer simply wants to have an understanding of the workplace’s current state of affairs, any issues and concerns, or just have a feeler or to see if there is a future need for a workplace investigation.
As professional private investigators, we do not recommend that a workplace review and a workplace investigation be carried out at the same time because this can lead to confusion and other issues. If you want to know more or need our help, feel free to contact us at Haywood Hunt for an obligation-free initial consultation.