As an educator in the HR profession, I routinely facilitate HR training and internal investigations training throughout the U.S. As I interact with professionals and ask the question, “So, how do you manage your investigation case files?” I then get the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights look from everyone in the room. These days, the number of employee relations’ issues that most HR and Employee Relations professionals are dealing with is considerably higher than just two years ago. The increase is, in part, due to the #MeToo movement and the media focus on sexual harassment. So, here we are managing caseloads that are much higher than I think anyone in HR leadership ever expected. We know this firsthand at RPC, because we have organizations (many of them rather large) who reach out to us to find and place interim HR investigators in their organizations to help fill in when they get buried in caseload. We have seen more of these request for interim HR and Employee Relations investigators this year.
So, let’s talk about the case for case management. With the increases in the number of employee relations’ cases and actual investigations, suffice it to say that efficiencies need to be put in place. The reason is that I’m not seeing organizations commit to additional resources in HR and ER to keep pace with these increases. Also, organizations are changing in structure a lot more these days. So, an Employee Relations’ Manager may be responsible for a particular region, only to be advised that he/she is being relocated to another region. What happens to that ER Manager’s cases when he/she relocates? Or, leaves the organization? The answer should not be, “Well, we keep our records on a shared drive and have paper files in the file cabinet in the HR Director’s office.” Yikes. This is not a good strategy as there isn’t a good business continuity plan here. Also, shared drives can have a lot of prying eyes looking at them. And, having separate file folders for everything is just not efficient or effective. For more information on a great case solution, please refer to our case management page.
What we love our about case management solution is that it houses all of our investigative data in one centralized portal. A quick look at the dashboard allows us to see all of our open cases at a glance. And, when consulting with many different employers as we do to help them with investigations, it is really helpful to stay organized in managing all of our open cases. However, the best benefit is being able to upload evidence without having any sort of file size limit. Many solutions out there have caps on file size, which can be a real headache for an investigator. Also, my most favorite, is the ability to pull the analytics. With one of our clients that has a lot of locations, we were able to identify that he had one “problem child” location which had a general manager who truly wasn’t a good organizational fit. By helping this business owner to identify the problem (repeated employee complaints and investigations…) he was able to take action to counsel the GM and help her understand that her poor leadership behavior was a detriment to his business. And, essentially she needed to shape up or ship out…
So, the case for case management is a really a no-brainer. In today’s HR and ER environment, being able to upload evidence into one central portal is simply so much more efficient. Also, being able to capture all investigator’s notes, maintain a case log of how the case was worked and the time it took to work a case–and then at the click of a mouse create an investigation report…is just the icing on the cake!
To learn more about a great case management solution, just go to our case management page.
Until next time…
Natalie Ivey, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
President & CEO
Results Performance Consulting & Investigations