A lot of work goes into producing an investigation report that is well-written and well-reasoned. But the finished product is more than just a set of words—it is also a visual experience for the reader. While visual elements such as white space and word font certainly enhance readability, in this blog post I focus on the communicative power of visual aids (images, tables, charts, etc.) and provide some best practices for including them in investigation reports.
A new draft report hits my inbox, waiting for my review. As I click to open the document, I’m immediately curious about the particular situation our investigator faced. Every report is, in a sense, a new story.
In my role as review counsel at Rubin Thomlinson LLP, I review the workplace investigation reports that are prepared by the firm’s investigators to ensure that they are legal defensible. Clients also ask that I do the same for reports that they have prepared internally.
How many of you can relate to that feeling of relief and maybe even joy when you are “oh so close” to completing a task. As a workplace investigator, I can definitely relate. In my experience, it is a great feeling knowing that I am close to placing a checkmark beside an investigation and moving that investigation file to the “closed” section of my files.
The first step in any new investigation is to review the workplace harassment policy. As both an investigator and someone who has written workplace harassment policies, I sometimes find myself sighing deeply as I conduct this review, knowing that some parts of the policy are going to make the investigation process harder – not only for me, but for the parties and the employer as well.
We have all heard of the myth of Pandora’s Box – a box containing many evils that once released into the world could not be put back. As a third-party workplace investigator, I often think of clients having a Pandora’s Box full of information that, if released, could be prejudicial and could lead to an eventual claim of bias.