Every manager has run into this issue during an investigation. Employee A says one thing happened. Employee B says something completely different happened.
Whom do you believe – especially during sensitive workplace investigations where your decisions may have an effect on an employee’s standing with the firm?
The trick: Determine the credibility of the people you’re speaking with. That’s according to attorney Lorene Schaefer on the Win-Win HR blog.
To get to the heart of who’s telling the truth and when, Schaefer suggests that employers model their questions on the instructions courts give to juries on witness credibility. Doing so will allow you to get as close as possible to the truth of what actually happened – and choose an honest, nondiscriminatory reason for taking a specific action.
To decide whether you should believe what an employee is telling you, ask yourself if the staff member:
• impressed you as one who was telling the truth
• had any particular reason not to tell the truth
• had a personal interest in the outcome of the case
• seemed to have a good memory
• had the opportunity and ability to accurately observe the things he or she is telling you about
• appeared to understand the questions clearly and answer them directly
• had information that differed from other reports.
Tags: workplace investigation