Are you familiar with management review? Better known as undercover investigation, it’s one of the most effective investigative methods when well prepared, though it’s also one of the most misunderstood. An undercover investigation can yield information that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible and is useful in cases that require a precise and in-depth approach where the agent must analyze a situation from the perspective of the subject of the investigation.
We recommend management review in the following situations:
- Unusual staff turnover
- Drug use or trafficking
- Production slowdown
- Harassment or bullying
- Internal or external theft
- Time theft and fraud
This investigative tool can uncover information and situations that are hard to uncover, which is essential to address issues that jeopardize the smooth running of your operations and inform your strategic decisions.
How does a management review work in practice?
For example, one of our logistics clients believed that some of their employees were doing drugs during breaks and operating equipment inside the warehouse while under the influence. We recruited an agent with the skills required to work in this environment and, after the company’s standard interview process, the agent was hired and began their mandate.
The agent assigned to the warehouse identified who was using, when and where. Armed with this inside information, a surveillance team was rolled out discreetly to capture video footage of the location employees were going to do drugs outside. They were recorded smoking joints, which they then threw on the ground. The agent collected the joints so that they could be analyzed at a lab, thereby confirming that the product was cannabis. When confronted with the agent’s information during concurrent interviews, the employees first denied and then admitted their recurrent drug use.
In a different case, an agent was assigned to a distribution centre to investigate internal theft. In addition to identifying the source of the thefts, the agent discovered that a supervisor was harassing employees, which had caused serious turnover problems for months and significantly increased recruitment and training costs.
Finally, in an environment potentially affected by employees negatively influencing their co-workers by encouraging them to slow down or even sabotage operations, a management review made it possible to update information on operations and align strategic decisions accordingly.
Preparation is the key to success
As with any investigation, the agent’s preparation and credibility are critical to the success of their assignment. It’s essential to consider the work environment, future colleague demographics and day-to-day job tasks to select an agent that’s a good fit for the group they’ll be working with.
This type of operation must be prepared with the utmost concern for the confidentiality and safety of the parties involved. We ensure that confidentiality agreements are in place to protect both the client and the agents. Moreover, all files are codenamed to prevent the identification of the site and client.
Trak Group, a leader in investigation
With over 25 years’ experience in corporate investigation, we put our expertise to work for our clients daily to ensure their continued success. In short, management review is an effective investigative method that provides access to otherwise inaccessible information and enables our clients to make effective and strategic decisions.
To discuss best investigative practices and the strategy adapted to your needs, book an appointment here with Jean Ruel, Vice-President, Investigations and Protection.