Workplace investigation or culture audit?

Imagine your workplace is a garden. If a single plant in the garden is not thriving, you investigate the specific circumstances of that plant. However, if different plants scattered all around the garden are declining, you might take a culture of the soil to see if there is a broader issue with the garden’s environment.

In the workplace, sometimes you have to conduct an inquiry to find the root cause of a problem. A targeted inquiry affecting an individual or small group is a workplace investigation, while a broader one is a culture audit. To determine whether a company would benefit most from an investigation over a culture audit, we guide our clients: “Who is impacted?” Does the alleged conduct directly impact only the complainant and subject? The department? The whole organization? If the alleged conduct is specific and only impacts the parties involved, we would advise our clients to conduct an investigation. On the other hand, if the complaints are amorphous and impact a larger part of the organization, we would advise our clients to partake in an organizational culture audit.

Companies can benefit from both, as both investigations and culture audits can help address issues to help workplaces and people blossom.