One thing often overlooked in conducting workplace investigations is reporting back to the complaining party at the end of the investigation. I have seen many cases where the employer conducted a thorough investigation and took prompt remediation action but never communicated to the employee that it had done so. From the employee’s perspective, he or she may believe that the employer took no action.
While detailed findings and conclusions do not necessarily need to be communicated, it is important to report back on the general conclusions of the investigation. This is important particularly where the allegations are not corroborated or the remedial action taken by the employer may not be readily apparent to the complaining party. Getting back to the reporting party at the end of the investigation lets the complainant know that the complaint was acknowledged and investigated thereby preventing the party from later complaining that the employer ignored the complaint or took no action to investigate the allegations. It also allows the employer the opportunity to remind the employee about the employer’s policies against retaliation and reminding the employee to bring any future complaints or concerns to the employer’s attention.
So, remember to send an investigation closure letter or some other communication to the reporting party of the general conclusions of the investigation at the end of employer’s prompt and thorough investigation.
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