Perception is everything in business. If you think about how the public sees your business, it’s going to be incredibly different to how employees view it from within, especially if there’s infighting and office politics. As a leader, if you’ve been accused of something, employee accusations in the workplace can be traumatising, humiliating, and infuriating, especially when it’s false. Office politics are rife, but if you want to navigate these situations you’ve got to bear the following in mind.
It is very difficult to remain calm, especially when you’ve been accused of something that you are completely innocent of. But the fact is that while it may seem easier to retaliate, especially as a boss, it’s far better for you to bite your lip and allow the HR investigator or the legal proceedings to review all the claims and come to you as they would see fit.
While an employee may opt for legal help in the form of a no win no fee employment lawyer, you have to remember that if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got to trust that your good record will speak volumes throughout the investigation.
When we’ve got nothing to hide, it’s important to be cooperative. When there is a significant investigation, either from a legal team or from HR, you’ve got to be cooperative with the investigation. You might not agree with the line of questioning from the legal support or the investigator, but it’s always important to take your emotions out of the equation, be cooperative, and share the facts in a manner that will help the entire process along.
You might feel offended that you were not asked for your side of the story instantly, and you may still feel hurt because you’ve been accused, but it is so important to share your side of the story completely in its entirety. You need to use this opportunity to add any specifics, but stick to the truth, and make sure that your information is incredibly detailed.
Do Not Liaise with Your Accuser
In a work environment, you may feel that you are in close proximity to the person that accused you of something. It can be so easy to go and attempt to resolve this yourself. However, if there is a proper investigation going on, you must have a continued dialogue with the HR investigator or the legal help.
You must remember that the nature of the proceedings means that they may not be able to share information with you, but you’ve got to deal with the entire situation with a mature head on your shoulders. It can be easy to play the victim if you’ve been falsely accused but remember you have the right to request meaningful accommodation away from the accuser until the investigation has been completed.
It can be an emotionally difficult time, but you have to remember that if you’ve been falsely accused of something, you’ve got to trust in the process. The “good will out” and so will the truth. As hard as it can be, remember you still need to focus on your work as well.
Image Credits: Yan Krukov