The three types of workplace investigators


The three types of workplace investigators

Crème de la Crème or also ran……?

As a senior detective and police manager, I spent a disproportionate amount of time dealing with staff grievances, public complaints and misconduct enquiries.  To be honest, I found this a frustrating distraction from the very thing I signed up to do, which was to provide high quality policing services to the tax paying public.  It was also perhaps a sad indictment of a deeper cultural issue within the organisation.

The collateral damage of all of this? Countless thousands of pounds spent on management time, legal fees and – perhaps the most costly – the damage to workplace relationships between colleagues and demotivated staff.   Of course, the police service is not alone in seeking ways to tackle this issue, organisations the world over have the same concerns.

On many occasions, I recall reflecting after adjudicating on a grievance or misconduct case, the waste of valuable resources as the result of a wholly inadequate investigation. Or simply how did the situation ever get so far?  Regretfully, some cases will inevitably end up in court rooms or tribunals, but all too many cases need not; if a quality early resolution had taken place, or a thorough and transparent investigation had been conducted, the court room procedures could have been avoided.

In my experience, the skill of an investigator and quality of their investigation is key.  I have observed three types of investigators:  those who haven’t got the skill, attitude or wherewithal. Those who do have the skill, take the right attitude and approach to the investigation, but fail to take account of the bigger picture. And finally, what Miss Jean Brodie would call, the ‘crème de la crème’ of investigators 

The ‘crème de la crème’ are the investigators who have a nose for the job; they are motivated, passionate about the quality of their investigation and genuinely care about client satisfaction.  They go the extra mile in understanding and mitigating the risks to clients and their organisations if a poor investigation is carried out.



“If a quality early resolution had taken place, or a thorough and transparent investigation had been conducted, the court room procedures could have been avoided….” 

They take the time to triangulate the evidence and produce a high quality report that HR and legal teams can make informed decisions upon, reducing costs and stressors to all those involved.

I have yet to conduct an investigation that doesn’t throw up all sorts of other issues the organisation needs to be aware of and take action.  A high quality investigator will ensure their clients are given the heads up in confidential follow-up report, separate to the investigation report.

At TCM, we have a team of cream of the crop investigators to provide market leading excellence in investigations.  Services dedicated to ensuring companies are not distracted from their core business by lengthy, costly investigations which tie up expensive resources and employee time.  Of course, prevention is better than cure, so our investigators also trained in the use of the TCM Resolution Model as qualified Mediators, capable of adopting early resolution to disputes and rebuilding employee/employer relationships.

– Linda Kelly, Expert Mediator and Investigator in workplace conflict

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