What Do I Do If I Am Asked to Discuss the Value of an Investigation?
What do I do if I am asked to discuss the value of an investigation?
The value of a workplace investigation has different importance to people depending on where they are in, sort of, the crisis cycle or the concern cycle.
So, if you are with an employer, and they are not overly sophisticated, but they have this crisis going on in the workplace – they want to know that you're going to come in and tell them what really happened, and that you're going to make them litigation-proof. And, obviously, we can't do that, but we can make their obligation to respond promptly to a concern happen well. We can do that, and we can give them all the facts they need if litigation does become a thing.
And we can almost always help them figure out what is actually happening in their workplace. And that is what somebody needs to know when they're in a midst of a crisis. But the real value of a workplace investigation, and what a client can hear when they're not in crisis mode, is getting to the root cause of the incident.
So, if it is a process-based conflict that has erupted and gone askew, or there is an underlying bias problem in a particular department – it doesn't matter that two people are fighting if the root cause is over here, and it's going to keep growing a new legs.
The real true value of a workplace investigation is being able to talk about the root cause. Sometimes clients can't hear that in the midst of a crisis, but that is what pays value. And so, when I'm talking to clients about hiring me, I do often talk about how: yes, I'm going to get you the answers, and yes, I am going to do the things that judges want to see that you did. But we're also going to be talking about root cause and how we can make sure that you don't have to hire me twice.
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