For many reasons, supervisors should be one of the best resources for HR departments. At nearly any agency, there are many more supervisors than HR professionals. Most supervisors interact with their employees on a near-daily basis and are the first line of resolution for any problems employees are having in the course of their work, including problems with co-workers. Finally, supervisors have had ample opportunities to earn the trust of their employees, whereas the employee might not be on a first-name basis with any HR personnel.
Unfortunately, supervisors aren’t often a great source of misconduct tips though. One common cause of this is when managers are promoted into their job because of their successes as a front-line employee rather than their supervisory skillsets. When this happens, the manager is much more likely to be passive, dodging inter- and intra-team conflict rather than confronting it head-on. While managerial training can help this, the best solution is to have a bias for active managers when hiring for supervisory roles.
There are other scenarios where managers aren’t contributing as much to the success of HR investigations as they could be, however. Here are two of them.
One reason that managers might not collect information about misconduct is that they’re unsure of their responsibilities under company guidelines and federal law, and therefore don’t want to get involved in it. Educating managers on their responsibilities and how they can best help an investigation come to a conclusion more quickly might give them the confidence they need to collect information and get it to the HR team quickly when employees bring misconduct to their attention.
As an HR investigator, one of your most important tasks is to resolve complaints quickly, before they do permanent damage to employee morale or otherwise become a larger liability for your agency. This isn’t a criteria most supervisors are evaluated on, however, so it often falls toward the bottom of their list of priorities. Respectful, frequent and comprehensive communication can help it rise to the top without causing animosity.
To learn how CMTS:HR can help your team manage HR investigations more efficiently, call us at 855-345-6363 or email us at Team_CMTSHR@CMTSHR.com.