Get Started With Synergy
Our simple process means you can get an investigation underway in a hassle-free and timely manner. Here’s what you need to do next.
• Our consultants will meet with you to assess your matter and recommend the best course of action, giving cost estimates and time frames. • Send us a letter of appointment detailing the Terms of Reference for the investigation. See below for information on how to draft a Terms of Reference document.
• We will draft an investigation plan for your approval..
• Receive, sign and return our Service Agreement which sets out the standard of service you should expect to receive.
• Appoint a primary and secondary liaison officer. These will be our primary points of contact during the investigation.
• We will then contact you to organise a full briefing. This is where you will provide the investigators with detailed information including all relevant documents such as formal complaint letters, policy documents and employment contracts.
• You must inform relevant staff members (employees likely to be interviewed) that Synergy Workplace Investigations has been appointed. This must be done before the investigation can commence.
• Once we have been informed that staff have been notified, we will commence the investigation.
Important First Steps
Pre-investigation To-Do List
- Decide on a clear purpose and Terms of Reference for the investigation so that all parties involved know what you are aiming to achieve and how it shall be achieved.
- Take steps to maintain confidentiality to the extent possible. This may involve speaking to the parties about their obligations with regard to confidentiality. Maintaining absolute confidentiality is unrealistic however.
- Decide whether immediate action is required in order to protect the complainant or alleged victim. In cases of bullying and harassment, the Subject of the complaint may need to be temporarily transferred, sent on leave or their supervisory responsibilities changed until the investigation is concluded and there are recommendations in place.
- As soon as it is determined that an investigation needs to take place, any documents relating to the misconduct such as emails, text messages and CCTV footage must be accessed and secured.
- Collate a dossier containing everything that investigators may need including company policies and procedures, personnel files, time sheets, employee induction records, copies of emails and text messages where applicable and anything else that should be part of the investigation record.
- Communication is key. Keep all parties to the complaint informed throughout the process. It is important that the parties know the company is taking action, not just ignoring the complaint. It is ok to let other staff members know that an investigation is taking place in response to a complaint without giving specific details. Ensure that the parties and any witnesses know that they must make themselves available for interview. The investigator will always try to schedule interviews for times that are convenient to the parties to ensure minimal disruption to the productivity of the workplace.
Drafting a Terms of Reference (ToR)
It is wise to have a Terms of Reference document prior to commencing any investigation. This ensures that the investigator and the organisation are on the same page when it comes to how the investigation is handled. A Terms of Reference document outlines the matter to be investigated and sets out the parameters under which the investigation will operate. The Terms of Reference should be drafted by the organisation and signed off by the CEO or senior HR manager.
What should a typical ToR contain?
- An outline of the allegations
- The date the investigation should commence and conclude.
- The scope of the investigation eg. who can be interviewed and where evidence can be obtained.
- The purpose of the investigation eg. to establish whether bullying behavior has taken place in contravention of the code of conduct.
- Provisions allowing for the direction and scope of the investigation to change in consultation with the organisation should new information come to light.
- The ToR should set out the process that would allow the scope of the ToR to be amended.
- The contents and function of the final report.
Contact Us for more information or to get started.