Transparent and Effective Conflict Resolution: Exploring Workplace Investigations

workplace investigations bc

Has your team been struggling to get up to speed in the new year and struggling under the stress of unresolved conflict? Sometimes, despite our best effort, negativity finds a way to seep into our workspaces and cause discord that affects the whole team. With the past few years being particularly stressful, people are more on edge and typical conflict resolution isn’t always as straightforward as management teams are used to dealing with.

Whether you’re facing a localized conflict between two individuals or a much broader issue, it’s time to take the next step towards rectifying the problem at hand and getting to the root of what’s going on. Inviting a third-party human resources team like Pivot HR into your workspace to conduct a workplace investigation is one of the best ways to uncover the truth and find the best form of resolution for everyone involved. From subsequent conflict training, leadership coaching or whatever else will best equip your team to move forward, we have you covered when it comes to digging deep to get rid of discontentment and setting a healthier foundation for success!

Below, we’ll take a closer look at workplace investigations, including a general overview of what to expect in the process.

What is a Workplace Investigation?

Though they can often sound intimidating from the outside looking in, at the heart of the matter, workplace investigations are simply meant to be a very thorough, objective deep dive into various factors that may be influencing and producing conflict in your business or organization. From looking at your team, work practices, overall morale, standards, policies, and everything in between, HR professionals can help bring core problems to light and help your team realize what needs to be rectified as quickly as possible. Common reasons for such investigations being implemented include:

  • A bullying/harassment complaint and/or violent conflict (mandatory review under most Provincial standards)
  • Breaches of policy
  • Investigation into interpersonal conflict, and more.

While there are lesser matters that may also spark an investigation these are some of the most serious issues that need to be dealt with rapidly in order to protect everyone involved and uphold legal standards. As such, a workplace investigation is not only concerned with finding answers about the conflict itself, but also ensuring that everyone has a fair and equal voice throughout the process in accordance with any and all relevant legal guidelines.

Who Gets Involved?

Different circumstances will see varying individuals become involved in a workplace investigation. Generally speaking, due to the sensitivity and privacy of the matters involved, the main players involved will be your team of investigators (often an external party), any relevant leadership, and finally any specific individuals directly involved in the conflict. Third-party evaluators are preferable to in-house for most investigations thanks to their impartiality, objectivity and ability to safely handle complex issues quickly and accurately.

What is the Process?

While no two investigations will be completely identical thanks to the uniqueness of your specific circumstances, the overall process typically involves similar progress points. To begin with, all involved parties are made aware of the investigation and informed of the confidentiality requirements, a review of any accusations or issues with relevant parties then occurs followed by detailed interviews of complainants and respondents, as well as witness, documentation review, and expert analysis to reach a conclusion and recommendations

Why Do I Need One?

It may feel like overkill to dive so deeply into what can often feel like a “small” issue, but the truth of the matter is that workplace investigations are also often a necessity where serious allegations like policy breaches, bullying, sexual harassment, or other major allegations become involved. The Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as Bill 132 require employers to have a vetted process in place for such complaints to be handled, and investigations protect both employees and employers during difficult situations.

Restore Balance with Pivot HR Today

If you need help handling conflict or conducting a workplace investigation, Pivot HR is here to assist. Based in Vancouver, BC and offering professional assistance in British Columbia as well as Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, our team of HR experts are here to be your objective source for navigating difficult workplace situations with confidence and integrity. Contact us today to learn more.

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