Does your heart sink at the thought of investigating a formal complaint of harassment and bullying?Do you worry that you will overlook key issues which will make your investigation open to appeal?Do you need to advise managers on investigation procedures but do not know where to start?However, the good news is that experience has taught me that there are three key ingredients of an effective investigation.For starters, thorough preparation is essential to ensure nothing is overlooked and that interviews produce clear and valuable evidence on which to base your findings. Before you interview the complainant, prepare questions based on the written complaint – each sentence can throw up a question or two to put to the complainant to ensure you understand every point they make. Challenge each emotive word or exaggeration – “When you say ‘he tells you off nastily’, in what way does he do that?” “When you say ‘you dread coming to work’ what makes you dread it?” “What does X do to make you dread coming to work?”In a nutshell, this first interview is key to a successful investigation. The notes of this first interview form the basis of questions for witnesses. Use these notes to prepare… Read full this story
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