Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:02

Line Managers & Workplace Investigations

In any workplace, maintaining a harmonious and productive environment ensures happy and high performing teams. And in any workplace, issues may arise that require investigating. Proper investigations lay the foundation for good practice when it comes to misconduct, poor performance and grievances. Not only do correct investigations minimise litigation risk to an employer, but they create a culture of trust amongst the team. Employees are therefore more likely to trust their employer, be compliant and feel confident to report problems.

When issues arise is the workplace, whether from conflict or misconduct, it may fall upon managers to initiate investigations. This responsibility requires a delicate balance of leadership, discretion and fairness. Line managers are entrusted with overseeing teams, role modelling good behaviour and fostering a culture of accountability. When allegations surface, the manager’s role within an investigation isn’t just about fact-finding but encompasses preservation of trust, morale and integrity.

Effective line management skills are the cornerstone of successful workplace investigations. Managers must possess the ability to communicative clearly, listen actively and maintain confidentiality. Clear communication ensures that all parties involved understand the nature of the investigations, their rights and the outcome process. Active listening fosters trust and encourages employees to share their perspectives openly. Moreover, maintaining confidentiality is crucial to safeguarding the integrity of the investigation and protecting the privacy of individuals involved.

A successful investigation demands objectivity. Managers must set aside personal opinions and the opinions of others to draw conclusions from the evidence presented to them. To do this, a manager must be confident in their ability not only to analyse evidence but ask the right questions during investigations. These questions can be uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it’s imperative that they are put on the table. Objectivity and confidence ensure that managers uphold the principles of procedural fairness and the outcomes are just.

Despite their best intentions, workplace investigations can be full of challenges. Managers may have reluctant witnesses, conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence. Equally, it can cause stress amongst the wider team and workplace. In this case, resilience is paramount. Effective managers adapt to changing circumstances, seek guidance when needed and remain committed to reaching a fair resolution.

Over the past few months, we have spoken about the rise in ‘accidental managers’, that is an employee who is good at their day job and receive a promotion to management without proper training. Naturally, anyone promoted to a management position should be provided training on how to do the job effective.

However, if a manager is appointed as investigator in an investigation, it is a non-negotiable that they are appropriately trained to conduct a fair investigation. At the minimum, it’s to protect the business from litigation risk. As best practice, it’s to maintain the team’s dignity and safeguard their wellbeing during an investigation.

At HR Champions we offer a range of training that creates effective line managers from ILM qualifications to bespoke leadership solutions. Our Workplace Investigations Training also enhances line managers skills to run a thorough and fair investigation.
We’re here to support you in workplace investigations and building a team of efficient and high performing line managers. Get in touch today on 01452 331331 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Read 858 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:05


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.