Human Resources departments are typically tasked with conducting workplace investigations into allegations of misconduct or criminal activity. Every complaint or allegation has the potential to turn into a lawsuit or criminal case, which is why it’s so important to conduct thorough investigations to find out exactly what happened.
Having the right tools can make it far easier for Human Resources departments to uncover the truth. One tool that every Human Resources team should have at their disposal is workplace investigation software. Here’s what you need to know about using this software to perform comprehensive investigations in the workplace:
What Are Common Types of Workplace Investigations?
Human Resources may need to open an investigation after receiving an internal complaint or observing suspicious behavior. Some of the types of complaints or suspicious behavior that may warrant a workplace investigation include:
- Wrongful termination
- Sexual harassment
- Threats of violence
- Substance abuse
- Conflict of interest
- Violation of internal policies
- Data manipulation
- Failure to comply with state or federal laws and regulations
Every company has an obligation to investigate these issues. Failing to conduct a thorough investigation into these complaints or suspicious behaviors could seriously damage your company and lead to civil and criminal penalties.
Some of these investigations are strictly internal, which means the only party involved is the company’s Human Resources department. However, other types of investigations also involve external parties such as law enforcement agencies. Fortunately, this software can be used to assist both internal and external investigations.
What Are the Challenges of Workplace Investigations?
There are a number of challenges associated with conducting workplace investigations, including:
- Evidence: Many workplace investigations turn into “he said, she said” cases with very little evidence to support either side. Deciding how to handle these cases is difficult since there may not be strong evidence of wrongdoing.
- Resources: Performing a workplace investigation is time-consuming and costly. An investigation may involve multiple people from different areas within the organization, including information security, legal, Human Resources, security, and management.
- Credibility of Allegations: Because each investigation is so costly and time-consuming, companies usually don’t have the resources to investigate every single complaint. These companies are forced to assess the credibility of each complaint to determine which ones warrant a full investigation. But if an error is made during this determination, the company could suffer as a result of the failure to launch an investigation.
- Reputation: The outcome of the investigation could affect how the company is viewed both internally and externally. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial that companies take these investigations seriously.
- Intent: Even if there is evidence of misconduct, it is typically difficult to find evidence that proves the employee’s intent. If an investigation does not uncover evidence of intent, the company must decide whether or not to take disciplinary action against the employee who unintentionally engaged in misconduct.
- Visibility: Many organizations only launch investigations after receiving internal complaints because they don’t have the tools in place to detect suspicious behavior on their own. For example, without employee monitoring tools, an organization may not be able to detect insider threats that need to be investigated.
These are some of the many challenges that Human Resources departments face when conducting workplace investigations. But luckily, the use of the right software can help Human Resources teams overcome these challenges and successfully complete thorough investigations.
How Does Workplace Investigation Software Work?
Installing workplace investigation software on company-owned devices can streamline the process of conducting investigations into wrongdoing.
This software is designed to monitor and record each employee’s digital activity, including:
- Web history
- Search history
- Social media usage
- Instant messages
- File uploads/downloads
- Use of USB devices
- Program/application usage
- Network activity
- Keystroke logger
In addition to recording these digital activities, this software is also designed to take screenshots of each employee’s screens. You can view video playback of these screenshots so you can see exactly what your employees were looking at, which will aid your investigation.
You can access the data collected by this software at any time. So if an investigation arises, you can quickly pull data from the accused employee’s device to look for evidence of misconduct or wrongdoing.
What Are the Benefits of Using Workplace Investigation Software?
Every company can benefit from using this software to conduct workplace investigations. Some of the many benefits of using this software include:
- Irrefutable Evidence
- Fewer Resources Needed
- Insider Threat Detection
The data collected by this software can be used as irrefutable evidence in workplace investigations. For example, if there are instant messages and emails that clearly show an employee sexually harassing their co-worker, there is no way that the employee can claim that they are being wrongly accused.
Because the data that is collected is irrefutable, this software can help Human Resources departments avoid confusing “he said, she said” cases. Human Resources won’t have to decide whose story to believe–they simply need to examine the evidence to determine if wrongdoing occurred.
This data can also help you determine an employee’s intent. For example, an employee’s search history may reveal that the employee was actively researching how to cover up their digital footprints in order to avoid getting into trouble.
Fewer Resources Needed
This software simplifies the process of investigating allegations of wrongdoing, gathering evidence, and determining exactly what happened.
It’s easy to pull the data you need to uncover the truth, so you may not need to get other departments involved in the investigation. You can also wrap up investigations much faster, which means quicker resolutions to workplace issues.
In general, fewer resources are needed to complete workplace investigations with this software. This means you won’t have to evaluate the credibility of each complaint to determine which ones warrant an investigation. Instead, it will be possible to look into every complaint to ensure you don’t accidentally overlook serious misconduct or wrongdoing.
Insider Threat Detection
As previously mentioned, one of the challenges that organizations face is lack of visibility. Without this visibility, organizations cannot detect insider threats that need to be investigated. But workplace investigation software solves this problem by providing organizations with visibility into their employees’ digital activity.
This software does more than just monitor and record your employees’ digital activity. It is also designed to analyze each employee’s digital activity to look for suspicious behavior that could indicate an insider threat. If this behavior is detected, the software will notify you right away.
Once you are notified of suspicious behavior, you will be able to watch video playback of screenshots of the employee’s device. This allows you to see what the employee was doing when the software flagged their behavior as suspicious. It is up to you to watch this playback to determine if the threat is real and if so, what needs to be done to protect your company.
You won’t need to wait for someone else to report suspicious activity to your Human Resources department. This software gives you the opportunity to detect and investigate suspicious activity as soon as it occurs.
What is the Best Workplace Investigation Software?
Having the right software is the key to conducting a comprehensive workplace investigation. If you are ready to protect your business, invest in Veriato Investigator. Tens of thousands of companies currently rely on Veriato Investigator to assist with investigations in the workplace. Now, it’s your turn.
Find out how you can benefit from this software by scheduling an online demo or starting a free trial today.
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