Workplace investigations are usually carried out to collect information about any complaint or misconduct that happened against an individual or group of individuals. In addition to the detailed findings and truth, the investigators or investigator may also check and regulate if there is a breach of rules and regulations of the organization. (Policies)
Workplace investigations may prove to be beneficial to the organization and employees if the investigation is conducted carefully. It will have a very positive effect on the overall health of the organization. As fruitful as it can be but there will be some serious effects on the mental health of the employees if the whole process is not carried out carefully. It is vital to look after and protect the mental health of your employees during workplace investigations.
The mental health of an employee is important as it will negatively affect the organization or company. The negative effect will be a decrement in the productivity of the employee or extended absenteeism, the employee may be unfocused and may not feel satisfied and this, in turn, will affect the overall health of the organization
WHAT TO DO TO PROTECT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF THE EMPLOYEES?
It is important to support your employees to make them feel safe and sound. It is important for mental health to feel supported so that they can be open and reach out if they are struggling as everything will be very difficult during the whole process. They should be provided with assistance if needed.
It is natural to get afraid if you don’t know what is happening, so it is crucial to be open and share as much information as possible about the whole process. Also, the whole information sharing must be in restricted access as maintaining the privacy of any employee is also essential.
DON’T LEAVE THEM:
Don’t isolate your employees, it may happen during the process that one employee might get isolated from the other employees because of any allegations that may or may not be true. Try not to leave them thinking that they are being isolated because of the allegations as isolating them will result in unsound mental health which will result in misery, and in some severe cases, this may also result in depression.
In some cases, it is important for the organization to not even share the information as to why the investigation is even being carried out. In these circumstances, the employees must be provided with the facility of counselling. There should be an unbiased person who must not be connected to the organization to whom the employees can question throughout the investigation.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH RESOURCES:
Having mental health resources will help, these resources may include reminding them of the benefits of the employment or providing them with some temporary benefits and resources throughout the process, it will be beneficial if the resources are available at the workplace which will motivate them to avail the resources and maintain good mental health.
HIRING PROFESSIONAL EXTERNAL SUPPORT:
It is important to hire an external investigator as it can be difficult for some employees to carry out workplace investigations at the same place they are employed at. When an internal employee carries out the workplace investigations it put them into a tight spot and might cause them uneasiness as it might happen that the employees that they are going to investigate be close to the participants or other employees. Or a situation might also arise when there is a personal issue because of a similar incident in the past which may cause high levels of anxiety to them and deteriorate their mental health.
Hiring external support will be great in many aspects as they will not be connected to the internal organizations and employees and thus may not have any biased opinions. This also reduces stress on the internal employees.
This concludes how and why mental health in any organization is important for any workplace investigation and how to make sure that the employees have sound mental health during workplace investigations.