It’s difficult to describe the wave of emotions experienced when you receive a phone call from HR or an investigator asking you to consent to a formal interview. The initial impression of a formalised process can be daunting and can often make you question why you agreed to make your complaint formal. Sometimes prior negative experiences can also leave you feeling as if you are ‘in trouble’ or worse yet, being labelled as a ‘pot stirrer.’ All this pressure and worry bubbles up from the first mention of the word, interview.
So, what happens during an interview anyway? And why do I instantly feel like I’ve done something wrong?
I’ve been called as a witness for a workplace investigation, the complaints manager explains that an external group will be conducting my interview. She goes on to explain that this is to ensure the interviewers are impartial, and the matter can be fairly assessed. I agree to speak with the investigators, although I still feel a little daunted by the weight of a formalised process.
I receive a call later that day from the external group, Huxley Hill, they tell me that they will be conducting my interview. I explain I’m not sure how much help I can be, but I will try my best. They walk me through the process and they explain my rights and responsibilities and that I can have someone with me as a support person whilst I have my interview. After speaking with the investigator and having my questions answered, my uneasiness begins to dissipate, and I agree to make a formal statement in the form of an audio recorded interview.
In the days prior to my interview I go over the events in my head, making notes of things that might be important or just context, I have no idea but going in blind makes me nervous, so I keep jotting things down. When I meet with the investigators they ask me about my day and make sure I’m in the right state of mind to proceed with an interview. They provide me with more information before recording and check whether I have a support person coming along.
During the interview I praise my school kid habit of taking notes, the matter has been ongoing for some time and not all of the incidents have been recent. I’m sure without taking the time to reflect upon the matter I would’ve been a bundle of uncertainty asking, ‘should I mention this?’, ‘is that what they said or was that another day?’ when on the spot in my interview. The investigators ask for a copy of my notes and the interview concludes seamlessly.
A few days after I receive a follow up call from my manager. On the advice of the external investigators, they are doing welfare checks with all staff involved. Certain incidents explored in the investigation could be traumatic for some people and there were concerns these incidents could embody or invoke memories which were confronting, embarrassing or triggering, so supports were offered to all involved in the investigation process. Finishing the call with my manager I thank her for the concern and continue with my duties.
I don’t think too much on the whole process in the weeks following. I’m not so overwhelmed with speaking up anymore, now that I’ve experienced an external investigation, and I start to notice other changes coming into effect because of the investigation. Practices are being fine-tuned, training dates are being scheduled and issues are starting to be addressed as they arise. The environment at work is changing, not for better or worse, but we’re growing, and things are starting to get more positive as each chain in the link is being refined.
To learn more about our Workplace and Mandatory Reporting Investigations contact out Mandatory Reporting Manager, Nicole Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0416 334 326.