Workplace Investigations Mildura
Welcome to Jolasers workplace investigations service in Mildura! We understand that workplace issues such as discrimination, bullying, and misconduct can be incredibly stressful and disruptive for both employees and employers. That’s why we’re here to help.
Our experienced investigators are dedicated to providing a thorough and impartial investigation into any workplace issue you may be facing. We understand the importance of confidentiality and sensitivity when dealing with these types of situations, and we always strive to ensure that all parties involved are treated with respect and professionalism.
Our workplace investigations service covers a range of issues, including discrimination, harassment, bullying, and misconduct. We work closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and concerns, and we tailor our investigations to meet those needs.
We have in excess of 16 years experience undertaking sensitive and complex workplace investigations and we have a deep understanding of workplace dynamics and the legal requirements surrounding workplace investigations. We use a range of investigative techniques, including interviews, document analysis, and forensic analysis, to ensure that we get to the bottom of any issue. At the end of our investigation we will provide you with a comprehensive report that has been reviewed by a specialist independent employment lawyer.
We understand that workplace issues can be incredibly stressful and disruptive, which is why we work quickly and efficiently to resolve any issues as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide our clients with the information they need to make informed decisions and take appropriate action.
If you’re facing workplace issues in Mildura, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you navigate these difficult situations and find a resolution that works for everyone involved.
Call 0418 101 164 to discuss your Mildura workplace investigation requirements.
Mildura Workplace Investigations
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The benefits of an external workplace investigation following an employee complaint.
People don’t like to think of their place of work as a ‘hotbed of harassment and discrimination,’ but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Even with best-practice HR policies in place, some employees may still be subject to unfair treatment based on their gender, race or other protected class. And while it can be difficult to hear such accusations against your company, it is important that you take them seriously.
Whether you have internal HR staff members or an external third-party agency supporting you, it’s always advisable to conduct an outside workplace investigation should any employee complain about unfair treatment.
There are many different types of workplace investigations; some involve interviewing current employees and past employees who left the company within the past year; others involve conducting focus group interviews with random employees from all departments within the organization, and still others involve bringing in a third party investigator for a neutral perspective.
There are pros and cons for each type of investigation, so read on to learn more about the different ways you can support your organization through an external workplace investigation following an employee complaint.
What’s the benefit of an external workplace investigation?
Employment discrimination and harassment are very serious allegations, so if you’re not sure how best to investigate a complaint, it may be best to bring in an external investigator to do the legwork.
There are a few reasons why an external investigation might be the best choice, including:
- The company culture: If there has been a complaint made against the company, it may be that the company’s culture is part of the problem. In this case, bringing in an external investigator may help to reveal the issue, allowing the company to take appropriate action. By hiring an external investigator, you can remove the employees’ sense of “us versus them” and allow the investigator to gather data without bias, providing an unbiased and accurate report.
- Impending litigation: If you find that there is merit to the complaint, you may be able to resolve it quickly with a settlement. However, if you do not follow proper procedures and the complaint is made public, the company could be subject to a lawsuit.
- The company’s response to the complaint: If you are receiving more than one complaint, it is important that you act quickly and appropriately to address the situation. If you do not, you may find that you have a disgruntled employee population on your hands, which can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover and decreased profits.
Performing a workplace investigation after an employee complaint
There are a few ways in which an investigation will be conducted, but in general, the investigator will typically follow these steps:
- The investigator will conduct interviews with all relevant parties, including the employee who made the complaint and other employees who may have information about the situation and its surrounding circumstances.
- The investigator will then review company policies, interview managers and other employees, and gather any supporting documentation or evidence that could be relevant to the situation.
- The investigator will then prepare a report of findings, which will include recommendations for resolving the complaint.
The benefits of an investigation in general
An investigation can provide answers to questions that have lingered within your organization for far too long. When employees feel that they have been treated unfairly or as though their concerns are being ignored, they can become increasingly disengaged, leading to increased turnover and reduced productivity.
A workplace investigation can help to identify the source of the problem, allowing you to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue and restore engagement within your company.
It can help to identify the root cause of the issue: If more than one employee has reported experiencing unfair treatment, there is a good chance that there is a systemic problem within your company. An investigation can help to identify the root cause of the issue, allowing you to take appropriate action to resolve it and prevent it from happening again in the future.
It can help to build trust among employees and within the organization: If there is a lack of trust among employees and within the organization, it can have a negative impact on productivity, engagement, reputation and overall success.
An investigation can help to restore trust within the company and demonstrate that you are taking the complaint seriously.
Why you might choose to hire a third-party investigator instead of doing your own internal investigation?
A third-party investigator has no vested interest in the outcome of the investigation and is therefore far less likely to be influenced by personal bias or pressure applied by anyone within the organization.
A third-party investigator may bring different skills and experiences to the table that could be beneficial to the investigation and could allow them to uncover information that your internal team may miss.
You want to remain objective. If you have done your own internal investigation and you do not want to suggest that there is a problem within the company, it may be best to hire a third-party investigator instead. You don’t want your investigation to be an “us versus them” situation and may want to conduct the investigation as a neutral third party.
You want to bring an outside perspective: Bringing in an outside investigator may allow them to see the situation from a different perspective and uncover information that you may have missed.
When should you request an internal HR investigation?
If the complaint is regarding a specific employee, you may want to request an internal HR investigation to determine if that employee’s actions have broken company policy or violated the company code of conduct.
An internal investigation generally focuses on whether the company’s policies were followed, as opposed to whether or not the alleged actions were actually true.
You want to determine if the employee’s actions breached company policies: If there are specific complaints but no indication that the employee acted with malicious intent, you may want to conduct an investigation to determine whether the employee’s actions were in keeping with company policy, including things like work hours, dress code, etc.
You want to determine if the employee has any training needs: If there are complaints that indicate that the employee’s actions violated company policies, but the employee did not do so with malicious intent, it may be that the employee simply needs additional training or coaching.
When should you request a third-party investigator?
If the complaint does not fall within the scope of HR and is not about any specific employee, it may be best to hire a third-party investigator to conduct the investigation. This is particularly true if the complaint is very serious in nature and could potentially have significant company-wide implications.
The complaint is very serious: If the complaint is very serious, it can help to distance yourself from the situation, particularly if you are unsure of how to proceed once the complaint has been made public.
While HR may be equipped to handle minor complaints, serious complaints that involve discrimination and harassment could lead to legal action. In this case, it can be helpful to conduct an outside investigation that allows you to stay above the fray.
The complaint is company-wide in nature: If the complaint is company-wide, it can be helpful to bring in an outside investigator who can conduct the investigation without bias and without being influenced by any existing employee relationships.
You never know when an employee will make a complaint about their experience at work, or what that complaint might be about. However, it’s important to remember that an investigation into that complaint can provide valuable insight into your organization as a whole.
Whether you choose to use an internal HR person, or a third-party investigator to conduct an investigation, it’s important to remember that the investigator is there to find answers and is not there to make judgments. An investigation is simply a fact-finding mission that can help to provide clarity and closure.
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Workplace Investigations FAQ
What is a workplace investigation?
An investigation is when you hire a team to look into an allegation raised against your business. The goal is to find out what happened, which can be helpful for HR, for the company’s insurance, and for the people involved.
Investigations can be any misconduct claim, including sexual harassment, discrimination, fraud, theft, and more. Sometimes, HR departments aren’t equipped to handle sensitive matters on their own, so they hire outside investigators as a third party who can help collect and analyze evidence.
Why do workplace investigations happen?
Investigations are usually triggered by two types of events — a complaint or an audit.
Complaints are raised by employees about their work experience, often about fellow employees. Investigators often become involved when a complaint is made, or when a company is audited.
Who runs the investigation?
There are different types of workplace investigations, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Internal investigations – These are conducted in-house by HR or a business owner, who often have limited experience with investigating crimes. They’re usually more concerned with protecting the company’s reputation than gathering facts, so they may miss significant information that could help resolve the situation.
Third-party investigations – An outside agency handles the investigation, which could be particularly useful if your company has a lot of sensitive data that needs to be kept secure.
Law enforcement investigations – This is triggered by an arrest, charge, or other legal event. While the police can help with certain situations, they might not be able to investigate certain issues like discrimination claims.
Where do workplace investigations happen?
Investigators may conduct their interviews with both employees and employers at any location that’s convenient for both sides. The key is to make sure the location is private and confidential — that way, people can be honest without worrying that their words will be shared with other people or groups.
Some investigations will require the use of a private investigator’s office. Private investigators have experience with conducting interviews in an office environment, can maintain privacy and confidentiality, and are often better equipped to handle interview situations that may become volatile.
How long do Workplace Investigations take?
Investigations can take as little as a week or as long as several months, depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Can we stop and restart an investigation after it’s been running for a while?
Yes. It’s not uncommon for an investigation to stall out or go off track, particularly if it’s an internal investigation. Sometimes, the parties involved stop cooperating with the process, or they may have trouble reaching a mutually satisfactory conclusion. But if you decide you need to restart the investigation, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
You may need to write a new contract and pay for a new investigation
— So make sure you’re clear about what you want to investigate and what the parties are promising to deliver before you start. You may want to rebrand the investigation
— the retooled investigation can help you get back on track to a more successful conclusion.
What can we do to make workplace investigations easier?
There are a few steps you can take to make workplace investigations go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.
Practice good record keeping — This can help you identify trends and improve your policies, helping to prevent future problems from arising.
Investigate each complaint thoroughly — Even if the complaint doesn’t turn out to be valid, you should learn from it.
Don’t ignore complaints — Even if they seem frivolous, they could be signposts to bigger issues.
Investigate fraud or theft promptly — These types of investigations need to be handled as urgently as possible.
If you hire an investigator, make sure you know what the investigator’s role is, and make sure the investigator understands that they are working for you.
What should we do if an employee files a complaint against us?
Sometimes, an investigation is initiated by an employee. If an employee files a complaint against your business, try to be as helpful as possible.
If you’re able to resolve the situation quickly, you might be able to end the investigation before it goes any further.
If you’re unable to resolve the situation quickly, try to get in touch with the employee’s representative as soon as possible. This helps you understand the employee’s concerns and gives you time to gather evidence that helps your side of the story.
What should we do if an employee files a complaint against another employee?
This is an investigation that you’ll need to run, perhaps with the help of HR.
If you receive a complaint about another employee, you first need to decide if the complaint is something you can handle. If it’s minor or internal company policy related, you may be able to handle it. If it’s serious or outside your ability to handle it, you need to escalate it so a different team can handle it, such as HR or the legal team.
Once you’ve decided what to do with the complaint, make sure you follow the appropriate process, whether it be in-house or through HR or engaging a professional investigation company.
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