Workplace investigations: Avoiding bias and conflict of interest

How can you avoid being accused of bias or a conflict of interest during an internal investigation?
When it comes to bias or conflict of interest, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, by that I mean not only do you have to ensure that there is no actual bias or conflict of interest, you must ensure that there doesn’t appear to be any & there is no potential for any.
How to do that:
1. Don’t allow personal feeling or past dealings to affect your judgment
2. Don’t allow any past behaviours on the part of the person you are investigating to affect your judgment, just because they did it in the past doesn’t mean they did it this time.
3. Never allow generalisations to affect your judgement, such as, ‘it’s the sort of they he would do”, “It’s the way she is”
4. Focus on the evidence
Conflict of interest
1. Don’t allow any of your bias affect your final decision
2. Don’t allow the wishes of others (especially senior management) to affect your judgment, focus on the evidence only
3. The decision must be based on the evidence not what is best for your career or the organisation
If a bias or conflict of interest is present, declare it, manage it or remove yourself from the investigation. If you can’t do that, outsource, contact me

AWPTI – workplace investigation Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide

Misconduct investigations, bullying investigations, harassment investigations & sexual harassment investigations, complaint investigations, grievance investigations, discrimination investigations

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