Why You Need Powerful Purpose-Built Case Management Software
In order to conduct effective, efficient investigations, your team needs the right tools. Here’s why purpose-built case management software is your best option.
Simply reacting to harassment, fraud, compliance lapses and other misconduct puts your organization at risk. To prevent the negative consequences of incidents like these (while also ensuring your business’s success), you need to stop these issues before they start.
The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that global coffee chain Starbucks has broken multiple labor laws in their “union-busting” efforts. The judge found that Starbucks fired or disciplined employees who supported unionizing. “He also found that the company threatened workers, spied on them and enforced dress codes and other company policies ‘more stringently against union supporters,’” according to the judge’s order. If you don’t want your organization to suffer the same consequences, you need to ensure your internal investigations are well-documented, fair and compliant.
With purpose-built case management software, you can analyze your historic case data and use it to spot trends and create reports to share with your team, executives and other stakeholders. This data helps you reduce risk, and protect employees and your organization by preventing incidents that can lead to costly fines and reputation damage.
Home-grown or dated case management solutions, Have many shortcomings. For instance, managing incidents and investigations using manual methods is inefficient, often leading to duplication of effort and information silos. These solutions also open your organization up to security breaches and inconsistent documentation, which could lead to fines and lawsuits.
In today’s investigative environment, you need a powerful and dedicated case management platform that streamlines your entire investigative process. You’ll save time and money, protect employees and your organization and reduce risk, all with one tool. This guide explains how and why you should choose purpose-built case management software for your internal investigations.
Workplaces are Changing
In a post-pandemic landscape, a lot of changes that happened during COVID-19 have stuck around. As an employer, it’s up to you to keep your workplace running smoothly while protecting both employees and your organization.
First, many employees (65%, according to one survey) have come to prefer the flexibility and work-life balance of working remotely at least some of the time. However, far-flung teams can make catching and investigating incidents difficult. A web-based case management platform ensures you can capture complaints and reports and manage investigations from anywhere. A system with centralized case files lets your team collaborate easily and securely so you can resolve cases quickly, consistently, and thoroughly, building trust with your workforce.
Psychological safety has also become a hot workplace topic. Employees no longer sit back and accept harassment, discrimination or bullying of themselves or their coworkers. You need to address these issues fast if you want to keep your best talent. Purpose-built case management software lets you analyze case data so you can uncover employees or locations with higher rates of misconduct. Then, use that information to enhance training and other preventive measures, creating a psychologically safe work environment.
Keeping up with the rapidly-shifting compliance regulatory landscape can seem like a never-ending task. But if you want to avoid regulatory penalties and fines, it’s one you can’t skip.
“In the wake of the Monaco Doctrine,” says compliance expert Tom Fox, “the Department of Justice (DOJ) clearly now expects is even more enhanced cooperation during investigations.” He explains that this means investigations must be resolved faster and at a higher quality, with no room for error.
In addition, Matt Kelly, Editor and CEO of Radicalcompliance.com, notes a new voluntary self-disclosure policy for corporate misconduct in the United States. Under the policy, organizations will likely receive a more favorable resolution of their DOJ case IF they disclose the misconduct in a timely way. In other words, says Kelly, the company “must come clean about its misconduct prior to some other imminent threat of disclosure or government investigation.”
Case management software’s ethics hotline integration, streamlined workflows, automatic case intake and assignment and alerts to keep investigations on track help you stay within that “timely” window.
A strong case management platform also makes reporting to regulators easier. To ensure your documentation is always complete (on an OSHA report, for example), you can upload form templates to your system. Then, the software automatically pulls in all the information you need, ensuring you meet reporting requirements.
Finally, this type of system documents every action taken on a case file, including who did it and when. If you’re ever questioned about your investigative methods, you can show this documentation as proof of your process.
Did you know that companies lose, on average, five percent of their revenue to fraud every year? Whether you’re a family-owned small business or a global corporation, that amount of money can be devastating to your operations.
Unfortunately, with inflation rising and a potential recession on the horizon, your risk of fraud and theft could climb even higher. In 2009, during the last global recession, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) found that both the amount of fraud schemes and their dollar values increased after the economy took a downturn. What’s worse, employee embezzlement made up nearly half of all fraud, according to survey participants.
In a volatile economic landscape, employees likely don’t mean your company harm and commit fraud and theft out of need. The increased stress might also impact employees’ mental health, increasing other incidents such as harassment or workplace violence. Still, you need to protect your assets.
One way to do this is to capture organizational fraud and misconduct trend data. A modern investigative platform should have a data analysis tool, which you can use to identify which locations or departments of your company are experiencing the most issues, so you know where to ramp up your internal controls. The platform’s configurable workflow also helps your team work more efficiently, helping you resolve incidents before they have time to escalate into major losses.
Selecting a case management solution is complex.
Get a more in-depth look at the benefits of case management software, plus ways to get buy-in from management, in our free buyer’s guide.
When weighing your case management options, consider how each one will affect the various stages of your investigative process. The ideal system should make every step easier and faster, while also helping you do your best work.
Let’s look at how the five stages of your investigations could be streamlined by purpose-built case management software.
- Your reporting mechanisms can be integrated into the platform, or you can use the platform-hosted hotline.
- Multiple integrated reporting options (e.g. hotline, webform, email, manual entry) encourage speaking up and help you catch issues faster.
- Case files are created and assigned automatically using report information, ensuring cases are actioned immediately.
- Address similar incidents consistently to reduce liability and increase efficiency.
- Document actions taken on cases and their reasoning for better collaboration and to protect yourself against wrongful termination/discipline lawsuits.
- Use suggested links to cases with similar incidents or involved parties to spot trends.
- Automate investigative steps with notifications and alerts to keep the process moving.
- Configure the system to match your organization’s workflows so you can work efficiently and effectively while maintaining consistency.
- Protect sensitive case data with a secure platform and role-based access to files and information.
- Centralized case files create a single source of truth.
- One-click investigation reports pull in all the information you need for a thorough, compliant final report.
- Every action taken on a file is time- and date-stamped so your team, stakeholders or legal authorities can review them.
- Create visual reports (e.g. graphs, charts, heat maps) using your historic case data to spot trends and areas of risk.
- Use this analysis to make data-driven business decisions, such as where to increase employee training or boost security measures.
How Case IQ Can Help
Case IQ’s advanced case management software can make any investigator’s job less stressful. Our flexible, configurable solution is designed to integrate smoothly with existing reporting systems, including third-party hotlines. This ensures that no incident slips through the cracks.
Our powerful reporting tool also analyzes past case data to guide your preventive efforts, reducing the potential for future issues. With data-driven decisions and a proactive approach to incidents, you’ll vastly reduce your company’s risks.
Learn more about how Case IQ can improve the quality of your organization’s investigations and reduce resolution time here.