More often than not, when conducting a workplace investigation, you will hear something along the lines of I can’t recall.
While it may be frustrating to hear this, it isn’t the end of the world.
Nor should the answer derail a workplace investigation.
Even if, every response is I can’t recall.
Instead of getting frustrated, and going down the path of asking a *leading question*, take a breath and work out another plan of attack.
Yes It Is Frustrating
There’s no denying that hearing the words I can’t recall is a source of never ending frustration for the workplace investigator.
Instead of going down the TV path, and banging your hands on the table, accept it for what it is.
Nothing more than another comment someone has made.
Instead of automatically going down the path of thinking they are lying to you or hiding the truth, accept that they may genuinely not recall what happened.
Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Why Are They Saying It?
As workplace investigators, when we hear the answer I don’t recall, we need to ask ourselves why it is they are saying it.
Yes, they could be being flexible with the truth, though more often that not, it comes down to the proverbial butt covering.
Remember, it is potentially theirs or someone else’s job on the line.
Though, more often than not, there is the possibility that they don’t actually remember what happened.
Just because you think they should, doesn’t mean that they do.
You Will Hear It A Lot
The more workplace investigations you do, the more often you will hear I can’t recall, or I don’t know.
The more often you do hear it, the less annoying it becomes.
When it becomes less annoying, you can start to understand what it has been said.
When it comes to workplace investigations, people will say things that aren’t necessarily true, or leave gaps in what they say.
Seek Out Other Sources
Hearing someone say I can’t recall, shouldn’t necessarily mean the end of the workplace investigation.
There are bound to be other people you can talk to, to gather the information that is needed.
If one person says something, and everyone else says I can’t recall, there isn’t much that can be done about that.
Remember, workplace investigations have the lower burden of proof, the balance of probabilities.
All you can do as a workplace investigator is gather the information, and present the findings in a report, giving your view of whether the allegations have been substantiated or not.
Here are some other workplace investigations related articles you might find interesting
- I Can’t Recall
- Leading Questions. Should You Or Shouldn’t You?
- Can An Employee “Take The Fifth”?
- Using The OODA Loop In Workplace Investigations
- When Workplace Investigations Go Wrong