As an employer in Ontario, it may be necessary to complete a written investigation on a number of issues. You may need to investigate workplace harassment, workplace violence, privacy breach, a criminal act, some other misconduct, or perhaps to settle a argument between team members.
As employment lawyers here at DMC LLP, we help Dentists with all of their employment law matters, and specifically with workplace investigations – including written investigations. In previous posts, we’ve talked about the pitfalls in human rights investigations.
In this post, I’m going to outline the 5 most common challenges that dentists can avoid when completing written investigations
1. Failure to identify issues
Knowing what you need to investigate and knowing the full scope of the investigation – from the beginning to end – is key to complete a thorough and effective written investigation. Make room before you commence your investigation and written report to outline and understand what the issues and scope of the investigation is.
2. Failure to determine follow-up issues
When the investigation is taking place, make sure to note any follow-up issues that should be addressed in the report itself, at the end of the report, or after the report is complete. There may be parallel issues that need to be investigated (other workplace bullying, additional misconduct) as a result of your initial investigation
3. Failure to stay organized
White undertaking your investigation, it is imperative that you effectively manage and maintain documents and investigations. You also need to come up with a plan to initiate the investigation (what documents will you review, who will you talk to). This will not only assist during the investigation, but if a neutral third party is forced to review your investigation, it will lend credibility to your work.
4. Failure to take good notes
Taking detailed notes throughout the investigation (either by you or someone you have with you to take notes) may make it difficult to fully recall key information when writing your report.
5. Not leaving enough prep time
You need enough time to prepare, write, edit, review, and finalize report. This can take more time than you think!