How can companies conduct investigations more efficiently?

Companies are conducting more investigations now than ever before. How can they conduct them more efficiently?

Investigating employee complaints has become even more challenging after several years of enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. While your time may be spread thinner across an increasing number of investigations, there may be fewer investigators to review these concerns, and your employee population, witnesses, evidence and stakeholders may be more geographically dispersed than ever.

Planning and conducting your investigation efficiently is key. Here are some helpful considerations:

  • Do you have an easy way to figure out whether the issue actually needs to be investigated, or whether it just requires increased HR support or review?
  • Do you have a user-friendly investigation protocol, so you can learn, review and practice similar steps for each investigation?
  • Do you have a template interview outline to help you prepare for interviews easily, and ask questions strategically to get the information you need?
  • Do you have a template investigation report, so you can efficiently organize and create a complete record of the steps you took to investigate the claims raised?
  • Do you have template talking points, so you can provide high-level feedback to the complainant and accused about the results of your investigation in a timely and consistent manner?

There are many additional issues that should be considered, like figuring out who really needs to be interviewed, what evidence is truly necessary to review and, of course, whether and when to involve legal counsel to maintain privilege. The good news is that the more streamlined your process is, the easier it will be for your company to stay on top of the ever-increasing demand of conducting lawful investigations.

To help you create a practical, efficient, and legally compliant investigation process, we have developed Littler’s Investigation Toolkit. To learn more about the toolkit, or get guidance on your next investigation, please visit or consult your Littler attorney.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.