Do you suspect one of your employees or managers of dishonest or improper behavior? The term, ‘employee misconduct’ can be applied to a number of scenarios, and whether the activity is criminal or non-criminal, it will often contravene the internal policies or codes of conduct of your organisation. Many of us worry about improper behaviour affecting productivity during working hours, however recognising misconduct outside of hours at social events and training can also be your responsibility.
What is Employee Misconduct?
Employee or Workplace Misconduct could relate to dishonest activity such as conflict of interests, secret commissions and unauthorised disclosure of information to third parties, or improper activity such as ethical violations and computer and Internet misuse. However, it could also constitute situations that put other employees at risk, such as sexual harassment or assault, workplace bullying, or intimidation and threats.
Employee Misconduct may come to your attention during an audit or via the management, however it can also be brought to light through customer or client complaints, which may be a great deal more damaging to your reputation.
Dealing with Employee Misconduct
Dealing with Employee and Workplace Misconduct in a prompt, impartial and confidential manner not only ensures that both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator fully understand the process, but also demonstrates that your organisation does not tolerate such behaviour. The higher the alleged perpetrator is in seniority, the more important it is to be open, as the incident is likely to become common knowledge amongst employees.
Many organisations do not have an Employee Misconduct response system in place, and as a result investigations are haphazard and ineffective. Moreover, communication is lacking and employees are not only unclear as to their responsibilities, but also as to the consequences of failing to comply with the rules of the organisation. By appointing an external agency, you can ensure that your response system is easy to communicate as it is structured in a relevant, transparent and fair manner.
A Regents’ Misconduct Investigation incorporates a number of elements, including but not limited to:
• A review of the Code of Conduct and Internet and Email policies
• Communication of the response system, which might include briefings and booklets to advise all employees and management as to their responsibilities
• Creation of a reporting and handling structure for any Employee Misconduct complaints
• The appointment of a suitable investigative team
• Provision of legal counsel regarding the adjudicator and any hearing process
A Regents Misconduct Investigation team will gather information from your organisation’s records, analysing phone records, computer usage, credit card expenditure, travel itineraries and building access. We will also look at external records, and interview relevant witnesses. Towards the conclusion of the Misconduct Investigation, an interview with the alleged perpetrator will take place, giving him or her opportunity to answer allegations and present their own evidence. Please note, where applicable Regents will always seek legal counsel to ensure that the process is fair.
We will provide a comprehensive and adjudicated report detailing the alleged Employee Misconduct, and determining what further or disciplinary action may be appropriate. Where criminal conduct has been identified, details may be referred to the relevant law enforcement agency.
To discuss any Employee or Workplace Misconduct concerns you may have on a confidential basis, email firstname.lastname@example.org.