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    Core Competencies for Workplace Investigations

    Workplace Investigations are complex. Doing them effectively demands certain core competencies from both internal and external investigators. In our practice, we have seen dozens of internal and external investigations go wrong because the person or persons responsible, lacked some or all of these competencies.

    There are three Broad categories of competencies when it comes to the area of workplace investigations:

    Technical Element

    This includes knowledge of the related laws, policies, organizational and business-related practices, organizational structure, and the values and culture.

    Human Capital Element

     This focuses on the ability to effectively communicate throughout the investigative process. It includes interacting with people by applying verbal and written communication, emotional intelligence — both your own self-awareness and awareness about others, and relationship management. 

    Execution Element

    This is focused on conducting and completing an investigation. This includes project management, gathering and analyzing information, and problem solving. Developing and enhancing specific skills related to the competency clusters will allow you to be effective in your role across all of the circles. Let’s look at an example within each competency cluster and how its interrelationship is with the internal investigation process.

    It is perfectly understandable why many HR professionals would be very strong on some of these competencies but may be weaker in others. In those cases, it is recommended that you seek out professional advice or assistance to ensure all of these elements are in place before you embark on an investigation.

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