Workplace Investigations

If you're a manager or supervisor then you know the importance of conducting workplace investigations! You also understand that your first impression isn't always what it would appear to be! There have been many times that I felt I was absolutely sure I knew what happened then found out through the investigation process I was completely wrong!

Let me give you a short example below:

Several years ago I was working in a Health Care Facility and was giving a tour to the Nurse Manager responsible for the entire Primary Care Department. As we were touring we went into a waiting area that was softly lit. As we went in the Nurse Manager blurted out in an alarmed way, "Oh My God there is someone lying behind the sofa!" As I turned to look a Housekeeping Employee slowly came up from behind the sofa with this look of sheer terror in his eyes. The look that a person would have right before they were going to be executed! Now at that point I was not convinced that it would be necessary to conduct any type of investigations. I saw what I saw and I didn't need to investigate anything! Right! Wrong!

Investigations are exactly what you need when things seem to be exactly what you thought .they were!

There was no question in my mind that this employee was sleeping behind the sofa and got caught!

Well, after conducting my investigation I discovered that the employee had paged another employee and they were going to pop up and scare the employee! In other words this was a practical joke gone bad!

Now although we all can agree that it is nice to have fun at work sometimes we can go over the top. If a patient would have come in and the employee jumped up to scare them, who knows what would have happened.

Now the employee was disciplined appropriately, but things were not what they seemed to be at first glance.

That is exactly why it is important to conduct investigations no matter what you first think! Make sure you document all things along the way. I have learned this from experience! Every conversation you have may become very important to the end result.

Workplace Investigations also show to your staff that you are seeking the truth! You don't just react to things you do a thorough job of investigating what happened. This is very important to your staff. Good luck going for with your future Workplace Investigations!

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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