Navigating workplace investigations with confidence
Things happen in the workplace. It’s unavoidable in business and in HR. Employee and third party complaints, misconduct, bullying, sexual harassment and fraud may occur in any organisation. Whilst incidents like these can be stressful and distracting within the workplace, taking control of the situation in a timely manner will help you maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and reduce instances of work cover claims. Professional, expert workplace investigators can guide you through this process, minimising risk, ensuring procedural fairness and allowing you to get back to business-as-usual as soon as possible.
HumanX can also help to provide insight into underlying causes of the complaint. This may include cultural issues at the workplace, lack of capability, flagrant or high risk management styles and process failures.
We’re unique in our approach. Whilst most other external workplace investigators or consultants are strictly fact-focused, we’re proud to investigate through a pragmatic human-centric approach. This gives us a unique platform to investigate from and to recommend post-investigation strategies to help you and your team move forward.
That's why clients continue to engage us to conduct their workplace investigations. We are often briefed by law firms and government agencies as their preferred supplier.
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For organisations of all sizes, an effective HR strategy will create value. It will provide confidence and a united mission. HR strategy planning facilitates effective decision making and supports the human-first future of the organisation. We work with companies to blueprint a specific HR project, like the employee lifecycle; talent retention; or a restructure.
From diagnosing symptoms of poor engagement, to designing and deploying an engagement strategy; HumanX’s HR consultants can help. With so many moving parts, developing a sound employee engagement strategy can be tricky. With more than a few tricks up our sleeve, we have a knack for authentically boosting employee commitment and understanding.
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Building a strategic, attractive Employee Value Proposition can be the first step towards talent, retention and growth. An EPV is about internal branding, morale and culture as well as benefits, market positioning and leadership. A great EVP should take your commitment to your employees and amplify it.
Here at HumanX HR, we understand the many moving parts of good organisation design. We’ll help you to align seamlessly at the leadership level before helping you spot the gaps in your current approach. Working with you to design an organisation framework that fits your needs, HumanX HR can assist you in bringing every element to life.
Workplace culture is the unique personality of your organisation. It encompasses the values, behaviours, and interactions that define your work environment. It’s often referred to as ‘the way things are done around here’. Just as every workplace is distinct, so is its culture. Some workplaces focus on collaboration and team spirit, while others may emphasise individual contributions. As workplace culture experts, we understand that the essence of workplace culture isn't just about what it is, but also about how to shape and optimise it to align with your organisations' vision, mission and goals. Our role is to assist you in measuring, monitoring, and transforming your workplace culture.
People are the pillars of a workplace – and it’s imperative they are treated as such. We never recommend a one-size-fits-all approach, because every organisational structure is unique. A supportive performance management framework should continuously support the individual and organisation. It helps to foster positive relationships, trust and build positive working environments.
Redundancy can be a maze; of legalities and requirements, but also of stress and emotion and change. The team at HumanX HR are experienced specialists. Not only does this mean that we’ve supported many companies and their people through the restructure and redundancy process many times before, we also bring our own values to every sensitive situation.
Exiting an employee can be a vital part of change and progression. But it is also a burden and takes a toll if shouldered alone. HumanX’s workplace termination consultants help to promote stability and sound decision making. Our experts develop confidence in leaders, decision makers and all the way through your teams, protecting workplace morale and advocating communication.
Making workplace dispute resolution simple - and positive.
HumanX HR’s team of mediators bring our human-first values into every situation. We are dedicated to promoting fairness and respect and confidentiality. Workplace mediation is never about finding fault – mediation is about communication. The mediation process is designed to help parties find common ground, share perspectives and agree a way forward.
A HumanX HR audit is designed to explore existing HR effectiveness and current state, and reduce the risk for your business by shining a light on what you don’t know. Working to your strengths and weaknesses, we’ll assess and address the gaps in your business, and give you the tools to make change and move forward.
Contemporary HR policies should reflect the tone of your organisation and culture. Beautifully designed and easy to navigate, our philosophy to HR policies is that they should be more than enforceable documents. They should be living and breathing documents guiding humans in the workplace.
Performance appraisals are not a silver bullet to managing talent in your organisation. They are one tool in the talent toolkit that is required to take a holistic approach to talent management. Performance appraisal focuses on a clear and meaningful evaluation of an employee’s performance. HumanX will support you in rallying an innovative approach that gets results.
Inspiring, effective business leaders are the spearhead of any modern workplace. They will shape and motivate the working environment around them, impacting every individual in the organisation. Executive coaching builds the skills and characteristics needed for new and emerging leaders. Start your executive coaching journey with HumanX
To take your business to the next level, or to iron out some problems, team coaching or team building training allows you to get the most out of the people that power your workplace. Show your investment and commitment and reap the incredible rewards in return, starting with tailor-made team coaching from HumanX.
What’s our workplace investigation process?
Our approach to conducting workplace investigations has been refined over the years to ensure that we are always providing our clients with reliable and consistent services.
We know that a situation that requires a workplace investigation typically crops up quickly. It can feel extremely demanding and overwhelming.
Acting in a timely fashion is crucial in the workplace investigation process and you may not have adequate resources and capability to do so. Balancing a functioning business while digging deep into uncomfortable matters can be a tricky game to play – and that’s why an external workplace investigations service provider can be the helping hand you need. The workplace investigation process is based on HumanX’s tried and tested workplace investigation framework.
When you partner with us, we will assign a highly experienced investigator who will investigate the matter(s) thoroughly, impartially and will maintain confidentiality at all times. Most importantly, our investigators are impartial and will handle the workplace investigation with the required level of sensitivity.
Working with our workplace investigators
The initial decision
At initial contact, we meet with you to understand the matters at hand and whether a workplace investigation is the appropriate course of action. Sometimes other steps may be required prior to initiating the workplace investigation. We may advise that workplace investigation services are not required and recommend other steps that you may wish to consider, such as speaking to a workplace mediator or discussing dispute resolution.
Plan, scope & manage
Once we agree that workplace investigation is warranted and you engage our services, we will immediately begin planning and scoping the investigation. Once we agree on the scope, we identify and make contact with relevant parties to arrange interviews and gather material evidence. This can include emails, texts, instant messages, files and any other relevant documents. We may review your internal documents, HR policies and code of conduct.
Gather fact - report back
We conduct analysis on each allegation at hand, test evidence gathered and develop a comprehensive report that clearly outlines each allegation, evidence tested and findings of fact. Throughout the entire process we will keep you updated on our progress and timeline of the workplace investigation. The investigation process undergoes a multi-layered quality assurance process prior to the submission of the report. At the end of the workplace investigation process you will be empowered to make defensible decisions based on fact and move on from the stressful situation.
Workplace investigations affect more than just individuals
There may be wide-ranging implications when an investigation is occurring at the workplace. Affected individuals may be under a high degree of stress and uncertainty. Respondents may be stood down from work and uncertain of their future. Complainants could have reservations about their employer’s ability to investigate their complaint fairly and without bias.
Engaging our workplace investigators means that your organisation and your people benefit from our experience and human centric approach and knowledge. In addition to conducting the workplace investigation, we can assist you with developing all necessary internal communication, provide you with the required templates and how advise with you with the best course of action with respect to how to engage with your employees and affected parties during the investigation.
If handled poorly, employees can become dissatisfied, and can feel let down and out of the loop. Cultural issues may be occurring within the team and the workplace investigation may be perceived as a negative experience that is surely not going to end well.
In most instances, outsourcing the workplace investigation rather than conducting it internally leads to better long term outcomes for the organisation.
Your employees should feel confident with the company they work for and you want to make sure that you are perceived as an employer of choice in the market. Don't let a poorly handled workplace investigation get in the way of this.
When should you consult a workplace investigator?
Workplace investigations are undertaken when allegations of wrongdoing are made or behaviour occurs that breaches workplace policies, codes of conduct or expected behaviour, such as bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and safety violations. Additionally, where an employee is believed to have acted contrary to their employment contract.
In most of these instances, it is recommended that companies speak to a professional workplace investigator as soon as possible.
Engaging an external workplace investigator like HumanX mitigates the likelihood that the Fair Work Commission will find fault with the investigation undertaken.
For more information about your specific circumstances, please get in touch with our team.
What happens after a workplace investigation?
After a workplace investigation has concluded, the ‘problem’ might not always have been resolved. Appropriate action may have been taken, but there may be a change in atmosphere, engagement and culture in the workplace. People can often ‘take sides’ in these situations or feel let down because they did not get the result they were hoping for.
HumanX is an outsourced HR agency. Post investigation, HumanX HR practitioners can proactively help your organisation plan and manage the ripple-effect of any outcome of the investigation.
Our HR consultants can help you address the root cause of the issues and design a HR strategy to reconnect your people, with your company, values and one another.
How can we ensure a fair investigation?
A workplace investigation is a fact-finding discipline and therefore it must not be conducted with preconceived outcomes.
Working with an experienced outsourced workplace investigator is the best option for ensuring procedural fairness throughout the process.
The outcomes of poorly handled internal investigations can be challenged - often due to lack of experience by the investigator, but also due to perceived bias and unjust decisions.
Independent workplace investigators are the best option for a successful workplace investigation.
Will HumanX workplace investigators work independently from our business?
When you engage HumanX to undertake the workplace investigation, we will conduct the investigation in an independent, impartial and unbiased manner. The advantage of outsourcing the workplace investigation is that any actual or perceived risk of bias will be discharged.
Once you have briefed us on the matter(s) to be investigated, we take the burden of conducting the investigation from you and your team. We carry out the workplace investigation in a timely fashion and provide you with a clear and detailed report at the end of the process.
What are the ramifications of not conducting a workplace investigation?
When allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct are raised in the workplace, a workplace investigation should be undertaken. There are several potential implications to the employer if a workplace investigation is not conducted in these instances, including:
- the risk of a dismissal being challenged by an employee, which if successful may result in reinstatement and payment of compensation
- possible litigation which may have wide ranging ramifications
- reputational damage to the organisation and the management team. Including the perception of not being an employer of choice
- drop in workplace morale as employees may feel their company is not safe and the organisation they work for is not willing to protect them or believe them.
How much does a workplace investigation cost?
It depends. There are many factors that influence the cost of the workplace investigation. For instance, the type and nature of the allegations, number of parties involved and quantum of evidence to be collected and analysed.
Just like any service in the market, you get what you pay for. An outsourced agency with highly experienced practitioners and robust processes and techniques will charge more than a contractor fumbling their way through a process that could leave you with wide ranging ramifications.
This is not a risk worth taking and cost should not be the most important factor when selecting a provider to conduct your workplace investigation.
The potential cost of a poorly handled investigation far outweighs the cost of an investigation conducted properly and thoroughly.
We are constantly engaged to conduct investigations that were performed unsuccessfully in the first place by inexperienced providers.
Do you record interviews during a workplace investigation?
Yes, we always record the interviews once we have obtained consent to do so.
We engage a third party to transcribe the interviews and we will provide you a copy of the transcriptions along with our report.
Do you recognise your company in any of these scenarios?
Our HR is too Toby-from-the-office
Everyone has strengths, both as professionals and as people. There are many situations in which using an external HR consultant is a more effective option.
Ultimately, HR can be a tricky position to hold in an organisation; striking the balance between employee-support and communicating the company’s message; empathy versus becoming an agony aunt; being the champion of culture whilst also being the person managing risk.
Bringing in HumanX to support your team means that everyone can play to their strengths. Our experts can create space for critical conversations, feedback honestly, without agenda, and help leaders make decisions based on real information. We can support Toby with performance management plans and work to achieve company goals together.
Our HR department needs support
Modern HR leaders require skills in project management, business strategy, commercial awareness, coaching, talent management, compliance and workplace relations, remuneration, learning and development, and of course recruitment.
Outsourced HR experts can support the internal team without the distractions of politics, everyday requests and growing to do lists. Able to operate as an independent squad with a single focus or integrate into the team and fly alongside the existing HR managers to lead and deliver on projects, new initiatives or help cope with capacity.
Need to get more out of the experts you already have
For business leaders who are craving space – both time and brain-space - a great HR team will understand that it is their job to enable people to do their best work. Choosing the right talent (or inviting the right talent to choose your business), designing a best-in-class learning and development program, and ensuring that your remuneration strategy is on point will help.
The gamechanger: coaching your leaders. This is the space where humans will grow, engage, and find their superpowers. Coaching is a skill in itself, it’s not every leader’s natural state. Great HR professionals have been equipped with coaching skills and understand that coaching is an ego-less journey that is critical to developing exceptional leaders. Structured coaching programs are a brilliant extra, but coaching in the workflow, and in day-to-day interactions between HR and leaders is a valuable must-have.
My team tells me that communication needs improvement
If your team is feeding back to you that communication in the organisation needs improvement, they’re trying to tell you (without risking their jobs) that your communication needs improvement. Whether this is your communication directly, or as a leadership team, or simply internal systems and processes are not effective at allowing the flow of information, we can help.
Bringing external HR experts into a situation like this is efficient; we are able to zoom out and diagnose issues and challenges - from communication that may be causing frustration and high employee turnover to the root cause of disengagement. Better than that, we will also work with your organisation to develop the HR function to resolve any concerns, improve processes and mature the company’s approach to your people.
Outsource your workplace investigation and reduce your risk.
Engage an experienced and independent workplace investigator so that you can address the workplace complaint in a timely and transparent manner.
We will help you avoid distracting your team from their core duties, ensure procedural fairness to all parties and provide you with reliable facts to make defensible decisions and move on with your business.
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Award winning Outsourced HR agency that delivers results. We design Outsourced HR solutions based on trusted frameworks and class leading industry experience. A perfect blend of strategic and tactical HR solutions that will elevate the human experience in your workplace.
Learning & Development
Create a culture of progression, drive employee buy-in and enjoy all the benefits that go with it when you build an employee learning and development program that suits your business. Investing in L&D contributes to better organisational performance. Engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and adaptable, leading to improved business outcomes, increased revenue, and a competitive advantage in the market.
With our HR agency, boost your internal capability and see better results in less time. Engage a consultant or team to drive and lead HR initiatives that lead to incredible company-wide results. We can develop or pick up HR projects that you just can’t get traction with or assist with a particular isolated problem.
Your people are your power and your relationships are what connect you. Creating a strong framework for your employee relations can protect your business when you need it most – and when you least expect it. Our employee relations consultants are qualified and bring a human-centric approach to workplace investigations, mediations, disciplinary matters, terminations and other disputes.
How can you expect to build a solid team without solid foundations? Here at HumanX, we know your eyes are set to the future with plans for growth and projects on the horizon, but you can’t get there if your people aren’t with you and you aren’t protected. Work with HumanX to develop functional processes, reliable boundaries and compliances that set your company up for future success and solid HR foundations.