HR Investigations & Workplace Assessments

Knibbs HR Consulting performs fair, unbiased, thorough, and confidential HR Investigations and Workplace Assessments.  We have trained, well-experienced, certified investigators that provide professional reports and recommendations.

Knibbs HR Consulting conducts confidential third-party investigations and workplace assessments, providing a neutral, objective, professional process.

We use two investigators for each investigation and workplace assessment. Using two investigators ensures that information is reviewed and considered with more than one perspective while also ensuring the process is thorough.

Workplace assessments are a proactive process that gives an organization opportunities to explore the strengths and weaknesses of a workplace or department within a workplace.

Employers are legally obligated to address complaints when they are filed by employees.  In most of these cases, the employer should conduct an investigation. Detailed interviews are the most important aspect of workplace investigations.  

Interviews can provide a clear understanding of an incident and help employers determine what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken. In addition, investigators may have to locate and examine documents, emails and other evidence, possibly even social media activity as well as voicemails and texts. A fair, responsive resolution builds confidence for both employees and the organization.

Knibbs HR Consulting is cognizant of the sensitivity and confidentiality of any potential or complainant situation.

Download Our Free Investigations PDF Checklist for Employers

Types of Investigations

  • Discrimination based on protected grounds
  • Sexual harassment
  • Workplace harassment and bullying
  • Workplace misconduct
  • Workplace violence
  • Poisoned work environment
  • Social media misconduct
  • Employee behaviour
  • Manager behaviour
  • Policy non-compliance
  • Violations of workplace rules
  • Breach of Code of Conduct including code of conduct for professional associations and memberships.
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OUR HIGHLY EFFICIENT AND CREDIBLE PROCESS

OBJECTIVITY & CREDIBILITY

The investigation will be free of any real or perceived bias which will increase the cooperation of witnesses and decrease overlooked evidence and legal liabilities.

PROFESSIONAL REPORTING

The professional report will identify the complaint, methodology of investigation, and evidence supporting or not supporting the complaint.  If requested, recommendations and rationale for recommendations will be provided.

PLAN & ACTION

An investigation plan will be developed and followed.  This plan will include interviews with relevant witnesses, collection of supporting documents, and an on-site visit (when conditions allow)  of where the alleged harassment occurred.

Frequently Asked Questions

An investigation has a typical process.  Investigators explore the merits of the allegation(s) by interviewing the complainant(s), respondent(s) and witness(es). They will also look at evidence to make a decision if harassment or breach of policy occurred or did not occur.  A WPA can be very similar in that the investigators interview affected people. However, a WPA can also be conducted with a research focus.  Other ways of gathering information, such as focus groups, surveys, etc. can be used.  The nature of an investigation is confidential in that only those involved should be aware of the processes, whereas a WPA may not be bound by the same level of confidentiality.  Obviously, those involved will be aware, but you may also share this information with others in the organization as well.  A WPA is proactive and can identify strengths as well as areas of concern.   

An investigation has a typical process.  Investigators explore the merits of the allegation(s) by interviewing the complainant(s), respondent(s) and witness(es). They will also look at evidence to make a decision if harassment or breach of policy occurred or did not occur.  A WPA can be very similar in that the investigators interview affected people. However, a WPA can also be conducted with a research focus.  Other ways of gathering information, such as focus groups, surveys, etc. can be used.  The nature of an investigation is confidential in that only those involved should be aware of the processes, whereas a WPA may not be bound by the same level of confidentiality.  Obviously, those involved will be aware, but you may also share this information with others in the organization as well.  A WPA is proactive and can identify strengths as well as areas of concern.   

An investigation has a typical process.  Investigators explore the merits of the allegation(s) by interviewing the complainant(s), respondent(s) and witness(es). They will also look at evidence to make a decision if harassment or breach of policy occurred or did not occur.  A WPA can be very similar in that the investigators interview affected people. However, a WPA can also be conducted with a research focus.  Other ways of gathering information, such as focus groups, surveys, etc. can be used.  The nature of an investigation is confidential in that only those involved should be aware of the processes, whereas a WPA may not be bound by the same level of confidentiality.  Obviously, those involved will be aware, but you may also share this information with others in the organization as well.  A WPA is proactive and can identify strengths as well as areas of concern.   

An investigation has a typical process.  Investigators explore the merits of the allegation(s) by interviewing the complainant(s), respondent(s) and witness(es). They will also look at evidence to make a decision if harassment or breach of policy occurred or did not occur.  A WPA can be very similar in that the investigators interview affected people. However, a WPA can also be conducted with a research focus.  Other ways of gathering information, such as focus groups, surveys, etc. can be used.  The nature of an investigation is confidential in that only those involved should be aware of the processes, whereas a WPA may not be bound by the same level of confidentiality.  Obviously, those involved will be aware, but you may also share this information with others in the organization as well.  A WPA is proactive and can identify strengths as well as areas of concern.   

An investigation is appropriate when you have a specific complaint(s), respondent(s) and complainant(s). When you have a general complaint, the respondent(s) are not specifically named and/or the complainant is anonymous, then a workplace assessment (WPA) can be a better choice.

Your organization will have a policy on Harassment or Respectful workplace. The policy is a good place to start. Ideally, talking to the person you believe has harassed you and trying to address the situation is the best first step. If you cannot or don’t want to, you should talk to your manager, HR, someone of authority, and/or your union or whomever you are directed to in the policy.  If you feel that your employer has not addressed your complaint in a reasonable manner, you also always have the right to contact Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) with your concern. Other than sharing your complaint with the people listed above within the organization or with OH&S, you should keep the complaint and all matters related to the complaint confidential.

The employer has the responsibility to ensure a safe workplace; thus, it is the employer’s responsibility to look into complaints, and if they warrant an internal or external investigation is warranted. If an external investigation is required, the employer will hire the investigator. If you are not satisfied with the employer’s response to your allegation, you have the right to contact Occupational Health & Safety with your concerns.

The employer has the responsibility to ensure a safe workplace; thus, it is the employer’s responsibility to look into complaints, and if they warrant an internal or external investigation is warranted. If an external investigation is required, the employer will hire the investigator. If you are not satisfied with the employer’s response to your allegation, you have the right to contact Occupational Health & Safety with your concerns.

Employers have the responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. This includes a workplace that is free of harassment. If the employer thinks harassment may be occurring, they must look into it, regardless if they have a formal complaint process or not.  A WPA might be a good solution in this case.

First, you must remember that a complaint is an allegation of harassment that needs to be explored. What you need to know is each organization will have its own specific process, but throughout this process, you will be given the opportunity to tell your side. What you should do is cooperate with whatever procedure the employer puts in place to handle the complaint.  You should also keep the complaint and matters related to the complaint confidential. Often, the process will allow for a support person. Sometimes, unionized employees get a union representative to be their support person. 

Retaliation for filing a complaint in good faith should not be tolerated by your employer. Organizations have different levels of understanding and capacity to deal with alleged harassment and resulting complaints. Sometimes it is a learning process for all involved, including the organization. Honest discussion about the situation can go a long way, but it is your right to have a safe workplace, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure your workplace is safe; thus, we encourage you to bring your complaint forward so the organization can address it in the most appropriate manner. Remember, you can always go to Occupational Health & Safety with your concern.

Yes, we can investigate alleged breaches of any number of policies such as code of conduct, executive limitations, etc. or allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Whether you are a witness, complainant (person making the complaint), or respondent (the person whom the complaint is against), you must cooperate in whatever process the organization has initiated to address a harassment complaint, including an investigation. This is listed as a responsibility in the Occupational Health & Safety regulations. Investigators will do their best to keep your information and participation confidential by implementing many measures, including whenever possible, conducting interviews away from the workplace. Participating in the process also allows your information to be heard and considered. Most policies allow for people to have a support person during an investigation interview. If it would help, bring a support person to your investigation interview.

Yes, we do investigations where board members, council members, clients, contractors, or customers have been involved.  The employer’s responsibility for providing a safe workplace does not stop at the employees. The employer must ensure it is a safe workplace, and that includes all interactions at the workplace.

Respect

All parties will be treated with respect during the process and will be given a fair opportunity to present their side.

Timeliness

A timely investigation supports an immediate response and relevant resolution to the situation.

Thoroughness & Verification

A thorough investigation of the facts will be performed and substantiated before proceeding.

Credibility

Credibility Assessments

Inevitably, if a professional is conducting workplace investigations, you will encounter a situation where there is no evidence to prove if an allegation occurred or not.  In the absence of corroborative evidence, or witness accounts, the workplace investigator may determine that a factual dispute is unsubstantiated.  Alternatively, the workplace investigator may decide that an allegation

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Investigation Concepts

More On Workplace Investigations

Do you deal with workplace allegations of harassment?  Every day in Saskatchewan, people head to work with the hope of having a good day.  People want to be paid fairly for the work they do, and they should reasonably expect to have a safe workplace where they are treated in a polite and professional manner.

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Informing the Respondent of Allegations

As a workplace investigator, I am often asked by the complainant or management if the respondent will be informed/will they know the details of the allegations that have been made against them prior to their (the respondent’s) interview?  The answer is always, “Yes.”.  The reasons why are: Procedural Fairness In order to be aligned with

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