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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Identifying and managing groupthink in workplace investigations

Several of my investigations have led me to reflect on the phenomenon of “groupthink,” and how it impacts the workplace and intrudes upon workplace investigations. Groupthink is a term that was first coined by social psychologist Irving Janis, and refers to a group that, when working together, strives for harmony and consensus above all else.

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The art of interviewing: Drawing inspiration from Oprah

On the evening of Sunday, March 7, I, along with 17 million other people, tuned in to watch Oprah’s interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I am the first to admit that I wanted to hear all the details about their decision to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family, but as an investigator, I also was also interested in how Oprah approached the interview – how she asked her questions, what she asked, and how Harry and Meghan would respond.

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Virtual investigations: The good, the bad, and the future?

I must admit that pre-COVID-19, I was wary to conduct investigations virtually. This had more to do with my own discomfort with technology and videoconference platforms than anything else. Now, more than six months into the pandemic, it is hard to deny that virtual investigations may be around for the long haul. Below are some of our observations regarding conducting investigations remotely.

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The booze blog

Alcohol and work events often don’t mix well. Some know this from personal experience. Others, like us, are called upon to investigate allegations arising from work events at which alcohol and “good times” were flowing freely.  It will come as no surprise that, as workplace investigators, the issue of alcohol consumption and intoxication pops up with some frequency in our work.

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Workplace investigators working remotely part 1: Some humbling lessons we learned this week

Last week, our colleague Dana Campbell wrote a terrific blog entitled “Four Tips for Conducting Workplace Investigations Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis.” It contained some excellent advice including the use of technology to replace face-to-face interviews that are part of our investigation process.

We have all had a chance to put Dana’s advice into use this week as we are all investigating and working remotely. For the most part, this way of working has been successful. However, we have had some unanticipated mishaps, which we share with you below. And, in the spirit of working in new ways, this is the first RT blog written collaboratively, so you will hear the voices of different members of our team.

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Four tips for conducting workplace investigations amidst the COVID-19 crisis

It goes without saying that the entire world is currently treading in unchartered waters. The COVID-19 crisis is something that this world has not seen or experienced in many generations, if ever! All industries, businesses and sectors are assessing how to carry on with “business as usual” when the circumstances are anything but “business as usual.” In the wold of workplace investigations, the same questions are being asked.

Ordinarily, a solid workplace investigation rests on four pillars; namely – fairness, thoroughness, timeliness and confidentiality¹. If not handled appropriately, the COVID – 19 crisis has the potential to rock that foundation in two ways – it may impact the fairness and timeliness of an investigation.

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