The reckoning began with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, and rapidly spread throughout entertainment and government, toppling hugely prominent and powerful figures along the way. Now the conclusion is clear: the culture has shifted, and sexual harassment, abuse of power, and other types of workplace misconduct are no longer going to be tolerated or ignored. Victims finally have a good chance of being taken seriously when they come forward with their stories, even if they are implicating powerful people.
While this tsunami of allegations may have begun with public figures, we are already seeing its effect on private business. Companies are now expected to reflect much stricter standards for workplace conduct, and react faster and more carefully to all complaints. What happens in your company might not make front-page news, but make no mistake, there is increased scrutiny and public pressure to get this right—even in less high-profile industries.
The problem is, the HR function in most organizations does not have the tools, experience, and resources to conduct appropriately thorough investigations at the high volume that is demanded by the new climate.
Operational maturity varies between organizations, but the situation in which the average HR department of a large company finds itself is this: there is a head office that holds the majority of the experienced personnel. The rest of the team is distributed across the company’s many other facilities, which could range from a few regional offices to, in the case of some global enterprises, thousands of locations around the world. There are often only one or two HR reps in each location, and they are generally junior employees with little experience managing complex incidents.
When an incident is reported, the junior employee—being the only HR rep onsite—must handle the entire investigation, based on their understanding of corporate procedures. They will likely use an ad hoc solution to track incident reports and the results of their investigations, such as a ticketing system or compliance tool, and then manually gather data to be recorded in Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.
This type of process has obvious faults, including poor information security, a lack of procedural guidance, and the inability to produce metrics on outcomes. It simply will not be sufficient to weather the storm of reports and investigations that has already begun. In order to support effective global HR practices, companies require a purpose-built HR case management solution.
D3’s HR case management platform, with it’s support for guided investigations, is the best solution on the market for ensuring that your entire HR team is operating at the highest level. D3’s platform includes comprehensive investigation templates that guide investigators through every step of the process, complete with tips and contextual instructions. Guided investigations mean that even the most inexperienced investigators have a foolproof system for following the latest company policies.
The system also supports adherence to policies with automated alerts for upcoming deadlines, easily generated analytics, and a centralized database to track all investigations. D3’s entity database and link analysis make it easy to identify troubling patterns, such as individuals or offices that are implicated in an unusually high amount of complaints.
The results of implementing D3 for HR investigations are scalability, consistency, and transparency—even across globally distributed HR teams.
Our recently released whitepaper goes into greater detail on this topic, describing three major challenges that enterprise HR teams face, and the key capabilities needed to address them. The paper also follows an example use case through the stages of an investigation to show how a policy of zero tolerance for workplace misconduct can be supported using the D3 platform.