Empathy means having the aptitude to understand and connect with the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others. Those with high levels of empathy have a skill for understanding situations. They can analyze the situation from multiple perspectives, even if they have not been in the same position. This understanding allows them to react with compassion rather than criticism or disparagement. Empathy in workplace investigations is vital because it will enable listening without bias while acknowledging that everyone is complex. Skilled investigators do not jump to conclusions about a person’s character. Instead, they seek to understand other people’s perspectives and conduct effective, unbiased interviews. Quality workplace investigations are critical to your organization’s success. Consider reaching out to Bridge Legal & HR Solutions at (647) 794-5442 to learn how our experienced team can help your business.
Empathy is not just better for the world; this skill can also offer significant advantages during workplace investigations. The ability to view the world from the perspective of others is a valuable tool. Empathetic investigators can make those they speak with feel more comfortable, which causes them to speak freely so the investigator can collect helpful information for the final report. Empathy is a significant part of emotional intelligence. Empathy in workplace investigations is crucial for the effectiveness of the interview process. Like other skills, empathy takes ongoing practice and training. When investigators practice empathy, they:
- Are on time and keep the organization updated on their progress
- Remain thoughtful throughout the interview process
- Ask those being interviewed for their perspective on matters and make them feel seen and heard
- Never take things personally
- Are mindful of tone and body language at all times
Skilled investigators understand that people are often on edge during investigations. Empathy is a necessary skill during tough conversations about sensitive questions. Empathy can lead to positive change. The experienced lawyers at Bridge Legal & HR Solutions can help you learn more about empathy in workplace investigations.
When there is reason to believe that there is a problem in the workplace, an investigation may be necessary to collect evidence and discover the source of the issue. Investigation reports can be used to help determine how to boost productivity and workplace satisfaction. Businesses and organizations face issues that could lead to legal problems if they do not handle them with special care. When problems arise, a thorough investigation is necessary, and investigations in the workplace must be professional and impartial. When an investigator works for the organization, finding a balance between the two is often challenging.
Companies can ensure success when they find an empathetic, unbiased third party to complete the review. The final result will be a professional and impartial investigation report. Various situations in an organization can arise and trigger the need for a workplace investigation. According to the Association of Workplace Investigators, impartiality is the most vital aspect of any investigation. A proper investigation must be neutral, and all parties must feel that the review is fair and unbiased. Therefore, an impartial investigation is often the best way to achieve success. Using an external investigator also means that they have the training and skill necessary to complete the task.
Maintaining the appropriate balance of professionalism, impartiality, and empathy during investigations is crucial. Preserving this balance allows organizations to protect the interests of the business and shields them from allegations of inappropriate conduct during the investigation. Choosing an external investigator comes with many benefits, including:
- Increased confidentiality
- Effective communication throughout the investigation
- Thorough and competent investigations
- Information gathering and review from an empathetic and objective viewpoint
- Decision-making from an unbiased viewpoint
- Evidence-based conclusions
- A reduced chance of consequences due to a flawed investigation
Workplace investigations must be thorough, analytical, and independent for them to be successful. They must get to the truth of the matter without involving personal feelings and preconceived notions. An external investigator will be better able to complete investigations effectively with empathy and careful consideration.
An external investigator can ultimately save businesses money. A thorough and fair report can quickly solve legal disputes should they arise. As per the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, companies must conduct an investigation that is appropriate in the circumstances into complaints and incidents of workplace harassment and/or violence. Investigators must be neutral and inclusive, and the final report must be thorough.
When companies use an internal investigator, parties may dispute the findings based on concerns of bias. The dispute could cause the business to have to complete an entirely new investigation. A valid and impartial report will protect companies in the event that any legal conflicts emerge. External investigators go through extensive training and have the experience and skills to handle the entire investigation process from start to finish. They also improve risk management because they work independently, focusing only on the specific task. External investigations also allow organizations to conduct business as usual, as employees do not need to spend energy focusing on the investigation process.
When workplace investigators use empathy and remain impartial, they conduct thorough investigations. They do this through comprehensive and fair analysis. Organizations must ensure comprehensive and unbiased examinations. That is especially important before basing any decisions on the findings. A quality report can help a company uncover any blind spots and provide training and support as necessary. Bridge Legal & HR Solutions is a unique human resource consulting and legal services firm, offering professional and impartial workplace investigations and employment litigation. The dedicated team of professionals helps organizations across Ontario with consulting, business solutions, and legal advice. If you want to learn more about how empathy in workplace investigations can help your business, consider calling (647) 794-5442 to discuss your options.