Follow up on all complaints
Go in with an open mind
Don’t forget the data
If you need help with the data, there are several online courses for HR people on how to look at data. There are tools, like HR Acuity, that help you document, aggregate and analyze your employee data. However you do it, do it.
One of the things that drive employees crazy is that they never hear back when they make a complaint. Sure, you may not wish to disclose everything for confidentiality reasons, but for your employees’ happiness, you need to report back something.
This may be a simple, “we investigated and found that your pay is fair and at a market rate.” Or it may be, “we investigated, and we agree that Joe sexually harassed you. Joe is suspended for a week and will undergo sexual harassment training. Please let us know if you feel uncomfortable working with him. If you do, you have the option of transferring to department X, or we can move Joe there.”
Even a “we investigated, and it’s really unclear what happened. There isn’t enough evidence to act either way” is better than radio silence. People just want to know.
Investigations can seem tedious and time-consuming, but when employees trust employee relations, your business is protected, and everyone is happier. It’s worth the effort to do it right.
Suzanne Lucas is a freelance writer who spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers. She's sure not evil. She's super nice! Learn more about her at www.evilhrlady.org and email her directly for decidedly unevil advice.