There are numerous reasons to build a skilled team of HR investigators at large companies.  They reduce legal risk.  They protect a company’s reputation and reduce employees’ likelihood to steal time and money from the company.  They even protect the HR team from accusations of inattention or neglect.  All of these reasons, however, can be tied back to a core objective.  The foundational goal of an investigative team is to make your company a better place to work.

Just trace the goals back to their origin.  The reason bad behavior incurs a legal risk is because you’re violating an employee’s rights – making your company a bad place to work.  The reason so many companies are facing reputational damage from public allegations of harassment is because nobody wants to work or buy from a company that harms their employees.  And while it’s true that protecting company time and money is more about shareholders than employees, who wants to work with thieves and fraudsters?  Workplace investigations are about employee rights and employee satisfaction, and that’s why the investigations group sits within the HR group at so many companies.

This is important because it can be easy to forget as you wrap up an investigation.  When recommending the company take actions to address the behavior, it’s clear that you need to consider the accuser, the accused, and the witness list, as well as determine what response would appropriately impact each of them. It’s also important to take a step back and look at the company as a whole.  Does this investigation lead you to believe other bad behavior may be taking place?  Is it indicative of a cultural issue?  Does anything broader need to happen to improve the lives of employees?

This is where a workplace investigation team can have the biggest impact, after all.  Addressing individual instances of wrongdoing can have a positive impact by mollifying aggrieved employees and removing unethical employees.  Using collective case data to make broader changes to the organization, however, can have profound impacts on employee satisfaction and recruitment efforts. Better employees, after all, lead to better results. This is how an investigation team can generate far, far more to corporate earnings than they cost.

To learn how CMTS:HR can help you spot patterns in your investigative data, call us at 855-636-5361 or email us at