An employee’s psychological state plays an important role with regards to his/her productivity and engagement; therefore it is very crucial to know whether or not he/she effectively contributing to achieve the organizational objectives. Harassment or discrimination encompasses an important impact on one’s emotion and mental health. Hence, it is imperative for the organization to ensure its employees’ emotional well being and provide an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.
Investigating Discrimination and Harassment Complaints once the employee or the worker has filed a complaint of discrimination or harassment, employers ought to right away launch an investigation. It is very important that all such complaints are investigated promptly, fully and objectively. Conducting prompt and thorough workplace investigations conjures up the confidence and trust of employees and may reduce undesirable behavior from bad employees. In addition, one of the best and most effective employer actions is generally those that are predicated on solid, demonstrable facts.
Some complaints can be unidentified. Such complaints are troublesome to handle as they do not specify the details of the person complaining. Also the employer is not able to check the credibility of the complaint as the motive behind complaining is not clear. But a complaint cannot be ignored, once a problem is raised the employer have to ensure that a fair investigation is conducted.
- It is important that the employer protects the confidentiality of the complaint by the employee and at the same time should conduct an effective and prompt investigation.
- It is also very important that the investigator of the complaint or problem satisfy following conditions:
i) No stake in the outcome. The investigator should not have a personal relationship with the involved parties. The outcome should not directly affect the investigator’s position within the organization
ii) Skills that include prior investigative knowledge and working knowledge of employment laws
iii) Strong interpersonal skills to build a rapport with the parties involved and to be perceived as neutral and fair
iv) Attention to detail
v) The right temperament to conduct interviews
- One should not jump at the conclusion before all the facts are available, evidence collection should be completed
- The final report should contain the following:
i) The incident or issues investigated, including dates
ii) Parties involved
iii) Key factual and credibility findings, including sources referenced
iv) Employer policies or guidelines and their applicability to the investigation
v) Specific conclusions
vi) Party (or parties) responsible for making the final determination
vii) Issues that could not be resolved and reasons for lack of resolution
viii) Employer actions taken
You can join our upcoming webinar to learn how to conduct your own internal harassment and bullying investigation.