6. APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY
An investigation is a golden opportunity to fix what’s not working
in your organization, so view it as a valuable learning experience.
Of course, it’s human nature to feel defensive when we’re told we’re
not running the ship perfectly, but the goal here is not perfec-tion
– it’s improvement. Good investigations don’t just focus on
problems; they offer solutions that improve the work culture by
preventing incidents from happening again.
7. HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
As in any field, there are good investigators and inadequate inves-tigators.
The best ones realize that harassment does not exist in
a vacuum. It’s not enough to merely determine whether or not
harassment occurred. The investigator must be qualified to look at
all sides of the complaint by balancing both psychological and legal
factors in order to assess the situation.
8. GET THE RIGHT TRAINING
The best way to head off harassment is to make sure everyone,
at all levels of the organization, understands what behaviour is
appropriate and not appropriate at work. That requires putting
into place proper harassment procedures and making sure that
training is mandatory, clear and accessible to all employees and
leaders. However, not all training is created equal. Just because
you have ticked off this box by downloading a white paper doesn’t
mean your staff is properly educated.
9. CONSIDER THE COST
Proper harassment investigations take time, skill and insight to
be effective in generating lasting change. A legitimate business
expense, they are worth every penny because they save time and
money while protecting you from liability, bad press and “hid-den”
costs – sick days, mental health leave, poor performance and
Research shows that today’s employees demand a healthy,
respectful work environment where they can reach their potential
and HR plays a crucial role in making that happen. By engaging
psychologically and legally sound harassment investigations, you
will not only lower the incidence of workplace harassment, but
also help to enrich your company culture, setting it up for both
short and long-term success. n
Randi Chapnik Myers, LL.M., Dr. Stephanie Bot, C. Psych.
and Donna Marshall, M.A., are co-founders of Workright
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MAY 2018 ❚ 17