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Handling Difficult Employees and Situations of Internal Investigations

By: OnlineCompliancePanel LLC

United States of America (USA)

30 - 30 Sep, 2014 

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 Employers conduct investigations for a variety of reasons; employee complaints, background checks, allegations of misconduct, losses of various types. The shared primary purpose of these investigations is the same - to find out the true facts of a situation to determine a course of action to take - or to not take. In these investigations, employers often depend heavily upon employee's recollections. Most employees will do their best to be forthcoming, and recount truthful and factual information to the best of their abilities. However, emotions often run high in such situations and some employees may not want to cooperate or even have hidden agendas. Other times investigations are assigned to non-trained personal, or have to be conducted in locations whereas the investigator has no knowledge of the people, the location or sometimes even, where necessary files are kept. Investigating situations with difficult people and/or problem situations can have the ill-fated result of someone being reprimanded or retaliated against for conduct they didn't do, or in which they didn't participate. For others who should have been held accountable but were not, the conduct often continues on, in some ways rewarding them and encouraging a repeat of the conduct. Sir Walter Scott famously stated, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." In an investigation, it can be difficult to determine what the truthful facts are when information is purposefully withheld, false information is purposefully inferred or when false information is purposefully provided. Such tactics interfere with an investigation. So how do you know when you've got all the accurate facts? That all witnesses have been forthcoming? Or haven't purposefully given misrepresentations of the facts? If you're talking to someone to find out what they know, that you don't - how would you know what information if any that a witness distorted, left out or used to purposefully misinform? How is an investigator to know the difference between someone's inaccurate recollections vs. purposeful misrepresentation? What about angry, difficult, fearful, non-responsive or downright uncooperative witnesses? What can you do to require cooperation and truthfulness? How can you successfully conduct an investigation in an unfamiliar location when it's a struggle just to find the coffee?

 Why should you attend?

Every investigation is different and compounding that difficulty is that even in the best of circumstances, investigations rarely unfold as neatly as taught in training classes, assuming you've been to training. In real work workplaces, you have to have plans for what to do, say and how to handle overly emotional reactions, interfering managers, angry co-workers, those employees with other agendas and even sometimes downright lying.

 Objectives of the Presentation:

How to tell the difference between misinterpreted recollections vs. purposeful distortion or even providing misinformation. Telling the difference between a witness's selective memories vs. human forgetfulness. Finding out if the investigator doesn't ask understandable good question vs. A witness's purposeful omission. What to do about interfering, uncooperative or pressuring managers. Tips for conducting investigations in unfamiliar, offsite or remote locations. How to start an interview so most witnesses will be truthful and forthcoming from the beginning. How to get to facts that were omitted whether purposefully or not. Getting to the bottom of inference and untangling the web of deception. The best defence is a good offense mind set – Interviewing those who disorder, complicate, blow up and back track. Leave the TV shows out - The 5 best ways to tell if someone is lying to you. How to ask good questions to get good answers.

 Who can benefit:

 Supervisors, HR Associates, Managers and Generalists, Employee Relations Managers, Plant Managers, Business owners, those in non-HR jobs who have investigatory responsibilities.


Virtual Webinar Sep 30 - 30 Sep, 2014


Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SPHR, SPHR-CA is the President of her own HR Consulting firm and a new company Hindsight – Employee Relations and Investigation Management software. She has over 15 years human resource and training experience in a variety of professional fields, including retail, distribution, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit company structures.