Disciplinary actions are used as a rectification tool for employees who fail to adhere to company’s rules and policies. They are not carried out to reprimand employees, but used as a behavior-correction method.
Management usually opt for warnings and feedback to discipline an employee, but if a behavior is persistent, or the misconduct is severe in nature, the management may take disciplinary action.
Unauthorized absenteeism, tardiness, rude behaviors, insubordination, theft, harassment, etc. are considered as employee misconduct. A complaint need to be followed by a complete investigation process, which should be followed by a disciplinary action.
There are number of human errors and process errors that can hamper results of your investigation process. Make sure you have a streamlined investigation process in place to deal with misconducts or workplace conflicts.
The objective of the investigation process is to highlight the circumstances that led to the misconduct.
The investigation process will help you make a just and rational decision.
In companies where a union is active, the employee will be able to plead for a grievance process, which allows the employee to explain his/her side of the story. Keep in mind a grievance process usually leads to arbitration. Therefore, remain just in all affairs and maintain a detailed record of all your investigation process.
Here is a list of things you need to keep in mind while carrying an investigation process.
A team of investigators will have a diverse approach to the matter at hand. More witnesses can be interviewed; they can also help the lead manager with documentation and legal work. If need arises, investigation members can also be used to testify in the hearing process.
Make sure the team is with the company for years and has to direct personal interest in the investigation process.
In a unionized company it is required that a union representative is present when interviewing the employee at fault. Although there is no need of union representative when an employee is making a complaint about another employee/management, or a witness is being interviewed.
If misconduct is carried out publicly, you will have witnesses to the scene. In order to get a better idea behind the motives of misconduct, interview as many witnesses as you can. Take notes during interviews and request employees to provide written statement of the events for better evidence collection.
Strong evidence can be collected by following the paper trail surrounding the event or person. Keep a track of emails, phone calls, attendance, or performance appraisal, to develop a strong case.
All the evidence collected needs to be secured from tampering or theft, therefore, security should be prioritized during the investigation process.
There are chances that your investigation is altered by interviewer biases and personal interest. In such cases a third-party can come up with a better solution. Moreover, complex cases of misconduct also call for an expert resource advisory services like DFRI.
We provide company and industry specific strategic solutions for variety of human resource issues like, workplace conflict, employee-employer relationship, change management, resource allocation, workplace investigation, and many more. Call 1-877-803-3486 to learn more about our services.