Investigations: ‘I didn’t see a thing’

by on January 16, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe

When investigating complaints of employee wrongdoing, you may find a potential witness who’s not interested in helping. There’s no magic solution to getting people to talk, but here are three approaches you may find helpful:

    • Get tough: Workers may figure they have nothing to gain by talking. Write into your policy manual a provision requiring cooperation with employee investigations, with penalties up to and including termination. Remind workers of this if they seem uncooperative.


    • Be protective: Workers may fear that other employees will retaliate against them if they talk. Stress to employees the anti-retaliation policies you have for anyone who reports or cooperates.


  • Focus on the victim: Often employees don’t cooperate because they’re trying to protect a potential wrongdoer — perhaps out of a sense that they may one day be accused of doing something wrong themselves. What they often overlook is that there usually are one or more victims as well. For example, if the company gets hit with a big fine for a safety violation, that could mean someone has to get laid off, or there’s no company match this year for the 401(k). Try to get the witness to identify with the victim(s).

Click to View Comments

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.