What You Need to Know about Undercover Investigations in the Workplace – and Their Benefits
When you know there are things happening in the office that are immoral or illegal and could have very damaging effects, you have to do something about it – and that’s not always easy to do. When a person or several persons, independently or together, engage in theft or drug abuse (just to name some examples), it’s not always easy to confront them.
It’s in those situations that undercover investigations may be the wiser and smarter approach; you can find out what’s going on and who is involved (gathering evidence along the way) without harming the working atmosphere for the rest of the staff. Here’s what you need to know about undercover investigations in the workplace – and their benefits.
When is it appropriate?
It’s appropriate when you feel you have suspicions but no evidence to back it up. It’s appropriate when you need to investigate a claim or a complaint and when a direct confrontation may not lead to the right answer. There are many instances in which it is appropriate; here are just some examples.
- Employee drug abuse
- Theft, of goods, patents, or of an industrial nature – such as company secrets
- Workplace bullying, discrimination, or harassment
- Workplace safety violations
The first step is to hire an agency or to appoint a proper investigator. He or she will then brief you in what needs to be done. This briefing will include steps to undertake for strategic and tactical planning, options, dates and times of operations, periodical updates, and recommendations. The process is well thought through and ensures a minimum of risk to the business whilst accomplishing maximum results for the investigation.
The key benefits
There are many benefits – too many to mention – but here are some of the most important ones:
- Hard evidence. The researchers don’t just present you with facts and figures that are important to make your decision – they also present you with hard evidence that will stick in any court, and it ensures that the investigators are willing to present their evidence and arguments according to the law. This is especially true when covert interviews and conversations are recorded and then transcribed by transcription services which can handle court-ready documents.
- Cost effective. By wrapping up the investigation quickly, you save a lot of money.
- Quick and proper results. That’s the goal of the investigator.
There’s no doubt that undercover investigations have their proven place in the corporate and business world; some issues can only be handled appropriately by finding out what’s going on and gathering evidence without suspects or innocent people knowing that an actual investigation is initiated. However, it’s very important that such undertakings are done in a professional way. It requires delicate planning and good understanding of all the ethical and legal issues.
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