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Workplace Investigation Report Template

Learn how to document employee-related investigation results using an investigation report template.

Workplace investigations are more common than ever today – and employee relations and HR leaders are taking them seriously. 

Effective investigations start with detailed, defensible documentation that can be tracked, analyzed – and pointed back to over time. 

HR Acuity’s investigation report template will get you started with: 

  • Subject type (subject, witness, plaintiff) 
  • Incident details 
  • Your notes

Be proactive. Protect employees. Create a safer workplace culture, with HR Acuity. 

Download the investigation report to get started now. 

What is a workplace investigation report? 

A workplace investigation report provides a detailed record of information regarding an investigation. This is typically created by the investigator once a workplace investigation is determined necessary from a reported incident. 

A workplace investigation report typically contains factual details regarding the accused allegations, thorough information regarding the investigation itself and conclusive notes. It does not include any biased opinion of involved parties (such as interviewees) or the investigator themselves. 

How to write an investigation report

Step 1: Identify Reported Issue 

Open up a work case using technology with any info you know, including the involved parties (complainant, witness, etc.), investigation team, what the issue is, and if any actions need to be taken in the interim. 

Workplace Example: Jenna raised concerns about Jake, a dedicated project manager, possibly engaging in project data manipulation. Jenna noticed discrepancies in project reports during her review for an upcoming team meeting. She then reported the issue via the company’s virtual hotline and described the situation.   

Step 2: Gather Evidence 

Our workplace investigation report template can help you as you collect and organize the details of the case. This evidence could include documents, records and the details of investigative interviews. 

Workplace Example: A review of Jake’s project reports does show discrepancies as Jenna reported. Interviews with all impacted parties, including managers and other witnesses, are conducted. Relevant company policy information and code of conduct are also reviewed.

Step 3: Formulate Conclusion

Based on the factual evidence analysis and investigation conducted, complete your workplace investigation report. You should determine whether whether the issue is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or inconclusive. You should also communicate the result appropriately to all parties.

Workplace Example: Based on the evidence, Jake is in violation of company policy due to falsified project reports. The complaint is substantiated.

Tips to writing an effective workplace investigation report 

Things to consider when writing an effective workplace investigation report are: 

  • Document involved parties: Make sure to list all the complainants, subjects and witnesses directly involved in the case you are investigating. At minimum, a complainant or a subject must be involved in the investigation, but both are not required.  
  • Describe the issue: You should briefly describe the issue you are investigating by framing it as a question, such as, “Did Jennifer misuse the company credit card?” or “Did David destroy company property?” Also, if there are multiple issues to resolve, each one must be documented along with any supporting information provided by the complainant.  
  • Review policy violations: Consider which policies or guidelines may have been violated or are pertinent to your investigation and provide specific associated details and any relevant files. 
  • Include relevant documents: Enclose any documents related to the case, which will become part of the case file. Also, if appropriate, you can provide the involved party with a copy of the documents. 
  • Log interviews: It’s critical to interview all relevant witnesses who may have seen or heard something related to the incident in question. Additionally, individuals who may possess valuable information, can provide corroboration or may have been in contact with those involved around the time of the incident should also be interviewed. It is also recommended to interview individuals who authored relevant documents, such as emails, performance reviews, policies and so on.

What is the importance of a workplace investigation report?

An effective workplace investigation report holds significant importance within an organization. It serves as a vital document that not only encapsulates the findings of an investigation but also influences various aspects of workplace management and compliance. Here are several key reasons why workplace investigation reports are crucial:

  1. Initiates Appropriate Action: The investigation report can act as a catalyst for taking necessary actions based on its findings. Whether it’s addressing misconduct, implementing corrective measures, or facilitating resolutions, the report serves as a guide for the next steps.

  2. Documentation of the Investigation Process: The report is a detailed record of the steps taken during the investigation. It provides transparency and accountability, ensuring that the process adheres to organizational guidelines and legal requirements.

  3. Supports Legal Actions: In situations where legal actions may be necessary, such as employee disputes or compliance issues, the investigation report becomes a critical piece of evidence. It helps in building a strong case and defending the organization’s actions.

  4. Data for Preventive Measures: Workplace investigation reports are a source of valuable data that can inform proactive measures. By identifying patterns and root causes of issues, organizations can implement preventive strategies to mitigate future incidents.

  5. Enhanced Investigative Process: Writing an investigation report encourages a thorough examination of the case. It prompts investigators to ask pertinent questions, delve into all aspects of the incident and present a clear, objective assessment of the situation.

In summary, a workplace investigation report is not just a formality but a powerful tool that guides organizations in maintaining a fair, compliant and safe work environment.

How to use a workplace investigation report template

A well-structured workplace investigation report template is a valuable resource that streamlines the reporting process, ensuring consistency and accuracy in documenting findings. To make the most of such a template, follow these steps:

  1. Gather General Information: Start by collecting essential details that form the foundation of the report. Include the names and contact information of all parties involved, the name of the investigator, a unique case number, and the dates when the case was initiated and concluded, if applicable. This information provides context and traceability.

  2. Specify the Case Type: Clearly identify the type of case being investigated. This helps in collecting relevant data and tailoring the report to the specific incident.

  3. Collect All of the Details: Using all of the information at your disposal, provide a summary of the complaint or incident. Include information about who was involved in the case and how the report was received. This step lays the groundwork for the subsequent investigation process.

  4. Provide Evidence: Include all relevant evidence, including interviews, in order to strengthen the report’s credibility. 

  5. Conclude the Investigation: Based on all notes and evidence, indicate whether the case is substantiated, unsubstantiated or inconclusive, providing a decisive resolution to the matter.

By following these steps and utilizing a structured investigation report template, organizations can ensure that their reports are consistently well-organized, comprehensive and conducive to informed decision-making and effective actions.