How Do Companies Conduct Internal Investigation?
Internal investigation is an important part of handling certain problems that cannot be resolved informally in the company. Incomplete or flawed investigations can cause employees or certain parties to be vulnerable to unfair claims or have an impact on the financial loss and reputation of the company.
Like IBM experienced in 2015, it was a lawsuit case from its former Vice President who felt stopped from work for no fundamental reason – too old. According to the court jury, the results of the company’s HR investigation tend to be only on the one hand and unable to provide evidence to break demands. IBM finally had to make peace by paying a fine of US $ 4.1 million to Castellucio.
Then how to do a proper internal investigation?
- Appoint investigator (s)
The investigator can be HR professionals or external party. The important point is that the person chosen to conduct the investigation must be independent and objective and should not be in the position of direct authority over one of the people involved in the complaint.
- Starting from a code of conduct
This is one of the important things the company has a clear written code of conduct. The code of conduct contains company policies including actions dealing with complaints. Different types of complaints require different handling procedures. Based on the code of conduct, the investigator can collect information related to behavior and determine whether the activity complained of violates company policy.
- Create an investigation plan
Who will be interviewed? What questions will be asked? Make sure the investigator gets information from many parties involved, be impartial and be unbiased.
- Collect evidence
Collect and record various supporting evidence available for investigation. Evidence can be in the form of e-mail, video recordings, reports, eyewitness interviews and so on.
- Final report
Make final report by summarizing the evidence and recommended results. Include supporting evidence, applicable law, regulations or company policies related to the case and outline actions that need to be taken.