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Fight the Biases Against Investigating Misconduct

Good investigations are in the best interests of your business

Posted by Meric Craig Bloch on August 26th, 2015

If workplace investigations are perceived, however incorrectly, as disruptive, company-cop fishing expeditions, there will be a bias among your leaders against investigating allegations of possible misconduct except in those rare instances where the initial facts appear so serious as to give them no alternative. But as a matter of informal company policy – informal because you’d never see an actual policy for this – there should be no justification not to do an investigation. If there is a reasonable factual basis to believe that misconduct may have occurred, management cannot ignore it and still claim to be acting in the best interest of the company.

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Past Investigations Can Taint Perception

If there is a reasonable factual basis to believe that misconduct may have occurred, management cannot ignore it and still claim to be acting in the best interest of the company.
As an investigator, you may encounter a particular manager who does not want an investigation to be conducted.  This does not mean they are trying to hide something. Instead, their concern is likely about how the investigation would be conducted.

Most likely, the concern can be traced back to past investigations conducted with a “we have to get to the bottom of this whatever the consequences” rather than a “let’s figure out what happened so you can make some good business decisions when I am done” approach. So the bias against investigations is not necessarily one against investigations which are actually focused on helping the business.

Investigations Can be Good for Business

Remember the bosses don’t need you if there aren’t any – or enough – investigations. No one should try to investigate where it’s not appropriate because the resources wasted on a trivial issue does more harm than good. But your bias should be towards encouraging as many investigations as possible.

Meric Craig Bloch
Meric Craig Bloch

Strategic Advisor at Winter Investigations

Meric Craig Bloch is a Strategic Advisor, Designer, Trainer, and Investigations Coach at Winter Investigations.

Winter Investigations promotes the business success of its clients by helping them conduct thorough investigations using professional techniques and allocating resources efficiently. We help our clients maximize the value of their investigations, provide business-related intelligence, minimize business risks, and foster a speak-up culture.

Meric is passionate about investigations. He has 20+ years of experience as an investigator, subject-matter expert, investigations trainer, coach, mentor, and thought leader. He holds many certifications, including Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Financial Crime Specialist, Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional - Fellow, Certified Information Privacy Professional – Europe, and Professional Certified Investigator.

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