Workplace investigations: Don’t go at them alone

As difficult as workplace investigations may be, they can also be an opportunity to set things right

Photo: Jann Danyluk

YOU’VE LIKELY SEEN this scenario before: An allegation of workplace misconduct is made, a company’s internal conflicts and oversights begin bubbling to the surface, and private issues begin playing out in public.

Soon thereafter, a problem or incident emerges, one glaringly wrong enough that it requires a third-party investigator.

Enter Jann Danyluk, a Human Resources consultant with Ford Keast LLP.

As an HR Professional and Certified Investigator, she specializes in exactly this kind of work and has managed many investigations on behalf of businesses and not-for-profits throughout Southwestern Ontario.

“What generally happens is something has taken place in the workplace, and at some point the decision is made to bring in an outside investigator,” Danyluk explains, noting that sexual harassment, workplace harassment, respect in the workplace infractions, fraud or violence are among the common suspects. “I’m objective. Understandably, sometimes people within that company aren’t.

 “An HR person knows the regulations,” she adds. “But we also understand the human aspect to it.”

The goal is not to tear down a company or introduce divisions, but to make it stronger. “My philosophy of human resources is to clear the path for the business to focus on the business” ―Jann Danyluk

This, she says, is her greatest strength as an investigator. Investigations are not just about legalities. They are about people and that requires an empathetic human touch.

“Every situation is unique, and I approach each investigation first and foremost as a human being.” she says.

Her approach, she says, strikes a much-needed balance between sorting out the matter at hand and seeing where to begin rebuilding bridges.

“For a victim, it’s an emotional and traumatic experience,” Danyluk observes. “They’ve been willing to bring it forward, which takes a lot of bravery.”

On the other side of the equation, the goal is not to tear down a company or introduce divisions, but to make it stronger. “My philosophy of human resources is to clear the path for the business to focus on the business,” she says.

Danyluk notes that, many times, management is unaware of what is occurring in their workplace until it becomes a bigger issue. “For the company, it’s a tough situation as well ― they didn’t want this situation to happen in the first place.”

Workplace investigations: Don't go at them alone workplace investigations Content Studio

Danyluk’s services can offer an essential step on the path forward for a company trying to patch itself up. “It ends up with a report,” Danyluk says. The report identifies and documents the key issues at hand and comes to a conclusion. “And if the organization wants recommendations, I’m happy to provide that as well.”

Nested within Ford Keast LLP, an accounting, assurance, taxation, wealth management, human resource and business advisory firm with over 90 years of experience serving individuals and companies in the London and Southwestern Ontario region, Danyluk’s workplace investigations’ practice (one of several HR consulting services she offers) fits perfectly within the Firm’s ethos. In the end, an accounting firm and an HR consultant are after the same things: accountability, fairness and thriving business teams. 

If you would like to discuss the need for a neutral, third-party workplace investigation, or any other human resources matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jann Danyluk at [email protected] or 519-679-9330 extension 401.

Jann offers a complimentary newsletter which highlights current events in HR. Contact her if you would like to be added to the mail list.

This story was created by Content Studio, TreeTown Media’s commercial content division, on behalf of Ford Keast LLP.

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