3 Tips to ACE Your Workplace Investigations

Effectively conducting legally compliant workplace investigations is necessary for your business to continue to be profitable. If you don’t believe me, ask someone whose business has been impacted by the #METOO and #TIMESUP movements. 

Disregarding problems or burying your head in the sand can be costly and detrimental to your business, especially if you are a small business.

Did you know that the average cost to defend a single plaintiff employee claim is $160,000.00? And that is just your cost of defense. That does not include money you may have to pay the employee and their attorney.

But it’s not only the monetary costs, there are also soft costs – loss of time, goodwill, reputation, employee trust, and turnover. Just to name a few.

Here’s another number for you – on average it takes about 316 days to resolve litigated employee claims. How would that time focused on litigation rather than your business impact your bottom line and employee morale?

Your job is to keep your business on the right side of the next #hashtag movement. 

So here are 3 tips to help you ACE Your Workplace Investigations.

Standardize your process

To effectively investigate, you must have a plan. Develop a standardized investigations process, i.e., the plan you will always follow when investigating. A standardized plan has several benefits: (1) saves time and decrease disruption, (2) more easily withstand legal scrutiny, and (3) ensure consistency.

Prepare for interviews

Interviews can make or break a case or investigation. 

  • Review all information in your possession before your first interview.
  • Identify the issues you will be investigating.
  • Determine questions you need to ask to uncover relevant facts.

objectively Analyze Findings

To make a sound decision, you must evaluate all the information you received during the investigation. This requires an objective, impartial analysis. Context is everything. This is not the time to guess or just go with your gut, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your common sense or instincts. 

These are just some quick tips. There’s much more to my complete, proven step-by-step system for effectively conducting legally compliant workplace investigations.

My system is not another CYA. I empower you to implement and enforce policies to prevent lawsuits rather than invest time and company profits defending them.

If you want me to personally walk you through my step-by-step system, let’s chat.

You can also purchase my book ACE Your Workplace Investigations on Amazon.


Kelly Charles-Collins is an American employment law attorney, award-winning TEDx speaker, and the CEO of HR Legally Speaking, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in disrupting unconscious bias. An Unconscious Bias, Bystander Intervention, and Workplace Investigations expert, Kelly empowers leaders to discover and leverage the true value of their workforce so companies stay on the right side of the next #hashtag movement. She is also the author of ACE Your Workplace Investigations. Learn more at www.KellyCharlesCollins.com.