Global Investigations: A Six-Step Process
Effectively Managing Complaints Can Help Keep Your Organization Out of Court
In multinational companies, addressing complaints of employee misconduct or policy violation(s) are complex and involve different country customs, laws, and processes that must be understood and followed. If employees channel their reports of misconduct or policy violation(s) correctly within the company, this can help resolve many of these issues within the company and reduce the number of costly employment lawsuits. There are six-steps in this process that can help the human resources manager effectively enhance or refine the companies’ incident management program.
Step 1: The first step is to have an incident management program that includes a reporting process, a non-retaliation policy, and a policy to speak up if employees encounter misconduct or policy violations.
Step 2: The second step is to use a standard process to review and filter information to develop an initial response plan. Consider the following questions: severity (Are high-level employees involved? What is the potential impact on the victims?), complexity (Analyze the number and types of issues. Are there multiple areas of law and jurisdictions involved?), urgency (Is the safety of the employee or a witness a concern? Should the company call the police?), credibility (Is the source of the complaint known or not? Can the facts be easily verified), attorney-client privilege (Should this investigation be subject to attorney-client privilege?). These answers will help to determine your plan of action and the members of your investigation team.
Step 3: The third step is to form an investigation team. Depending on the issues, a representative may come from HR, legal, security, and compliance. The investigation team will determine the need for privilege, necessary steps to discover and preserve evidence, and the...