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Appendix A: Selling the Value of Workplace Investigations to Management

Before you can sell the business leaders on an improved approach to investigations, you will need to have a good professional relationship with them. There are many ways to build good relationships with senior managers. Some of them include:

  • Respect their legitimate business objectives and redefine your success to include the achievement of those objectives.

  • Respect their limited resources by delivering value and properly managing their expectations.

  • Respect their decisions to take calculated risks in running the business.

  • Respect the fact that you are assisting the executives to run their business, and they are entitled to direct the battle plan.

  • Build trust with senior executives. This influences your credibility and determines whether your message is convincing or not.

There are also some key selling points to use in soliciting the support of the executive management.

Return on Investment

Like other business functions, the workplace investigations process should have a measurable return on investment (“ROI”). A properly engineered investigation produces tangible results, such as the recovery of money, the termination of dishonest employees, and prosecution of wrongdoers. The more substantive the ROI, the more likely the process will be embraced by the company and receive the funding it deserves.

Traditionally, investigations return value to the company by:

  • Stopping financial losses;

  • Changing processes and procedures to improve operations;

  • Increasing productivity;

  • Obtaining restitution or concessions from wrongdoers.

The financial impact of a successful investigation is important to recognize. For example, if your company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is ten percent, your company has to generate $10 in revenue for every dollar it pays out in losses. Conversely, every dollar recovered through a successful investigation equals $10 in revenue your company did not have to generate.

Process Pointer: EBITDA—that’s speaking their language. Develop a payout example using your company’s financial data to show the value you bring (as well as the cost for doing nothing).

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