Investigations and Fact Finding
Whenever a grievance or disciplinary issue is raised, it is important that you ensure a thorough investigation takes place before you address the issue. The investigation phase is arguably the most critical part of these procedures. Without it, or if it is done badly, you will most likely reach the wrong outcome and exacerbate the original issue.
What should an investigation look like?
The size and scope of the investigation will depend on the matter being raised. Were there any witnesses? Has the matter been admitted by the alleged perpetrator? Is it something that can be proven without the need to interview colleagues (apart from a technical expert perhaps)? All these things will determine how wide the scope of the investigation needs to be.
Who should chair the investigation?
Ideally this should be a separate manager to the one who would chair any subsequent disciplinary or grievance hearing. This may not be possible in smaller organisations but it could be a good idea to get an independent professional to chair the investigation, leaving the manager to hear any subsequent meeting.
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