Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Is disparity dishonesty? On the Dolly Parton challenge and credibility

Did you see the Dolly Parton Challenge meme that went viral in January 2020?
Initiated by American singer Dolly Parton, participants in the Challenge composite four photographs of themselves labelled, “LinkedIn”, “Facebook”, “Instagram”, and “Tinder”. The idea is that each photograph presents a version of the user that corresponds to a different professional, social, or romantic context. The humour in the meme lies in confessional self-awareness – a person can appear and act in one context in a way that might seem awkward or inappropriate in another.

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Neutrality in workplace investigations

When conducting interviews as a workplace investigator, I begin each interview by explaining my role in the investigation process to the interviewee. As an external investigator, I ensure that interviewees are aware that my role is to be neutral. In the past, I have been asked whether I could be truly neutral. I have had interviewees express to me their reservations about how I would be assessing the information they provide, for if a client retains our firm to investigate a complaint, would I not then just be serving the client’s interest? In this blog post, I answer these and other questions I have been asked in relation to an investigator’s neutrality.

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“We just don’t believe her”: Confronting “organizational bias” in workplace investigations

Bias – whether conscious or unconscious – is a problem that workplace investigators grapple with in many forms. Perhaps bias is exactly what we’ve been asked to investigate: was the complainant treated differently at work on the basis of her gender, race or religion? Or, maybe we’re concerned that our own biases are affecting our investigation: do I believe the respondent’s evidence just because he looks and talks like me?

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Keep calm and carry on: When interviewees become aggressive

It’s no secret that workplace investigations can be an emotionally charged process. To that end, it is not uncommon for individuals who are interviewed during an investigation to become visibly upset or frustrated. However, it is an altogether different situation where an interviewee becomes downright aggressive, hostile or disrespectful towards the investigator.

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