When an employee makes a complaint, through the company mechanism for grievance redressal or verbally through an avenue, it is critical for companies to start internal investigation processes effectively. If internal investigation is carried out for businesses, here are the steps you need to take to ensure a comprehensive investigation.

#1 Follow Workplace Policy

Following the company’s policies for dealing with different types of allegations (theft, privacy, harassment and discrimination) is essential. Workplace policies dictate different types of complaints require different procedures. The company code of conduct is essential for gathering data on behavior expected of employees and to determine whether the activity is in violation of workplace policies. Does a company have an accurate workplace policy documentation? Legal obligation are upheld via the investigation proceedings.

#2 Determine if Further Investigation is Required

Not all complaints require a fraud investigation. It is usually wise to make an assessment to ensure it does not blow out of proportion. But how do you assess when something needs to be done? Conduct a basic investigation making basic inquiries to check if the incident is low risk or not substantiated. Have a record outlining the basis of the incident and make an investigation on the basis of this.

#3 Assign Investigations To the Concerned Person

Assigning an investigator to the case, taking into account that it is necessary to assign outside investigations to ensure a complete examination of the fraud that has taken place. The person selected to conduct the fraud investigation should be objective and lack emotional involvement. Certain investigative case management solutions must be in place to create rules that determine how case assignation is made. What is the allegation and is the company policy related to the concerned behavior? The nature of the complainant, his/her job role, subject of the complaint, nature of allegations, witnesses to alleged behavior and the nature of the interview are all important.

#4 Evidence Gathering

Gather and record any supporting information available for supporting the  fraud investigation. Evidence or exhibits can be in the form of video footage, emails, reports, witness interviews and so on. It is important to get a signed statement from the complaint maker to keep a clear audit trail involved in documentation of allegation. Fraud investigation needs to be carried out with the utmost attention to detail and accuracy.

#5 The Final Report

No fraud investigation is complete without a report. Summarizing the evidence obtained and recommended outcomes is essential. Supporting evidence, any applicable laws, workplace policies or regulations relating to the case and outline the course of action to be followed. Manage your investigation completely well with the report to be generated for this purpose. Fraud investigation requires filing cases on an everyday basis to record notes, sent emails, record exhibits and prepare reports.

#6 Take Action

Corrective action should be suited to the situation. Appropriate action includes employee training, disciplinary action, creation and revision of policies. Once the action is taken, one needs to correct the issues that are resulting.

#7 Follow Up

It is important to also conduct follow ups regarding the complaint. It is essential to follow up with the subject to ensure that necessary corrective action is taken and tools as well as training are needed to make changes. Follow ups should be carried out to ensure there are no signs of striking back. Complainants should be asked for feedback since the complaint has been made.

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