Employee relations is an increasingly important role within the HR function. Maintaining positive employee relations helps boost morale, reduce conflict, and raise workforce productivity.

In this course, you will develop an understanding of how to best facilitate relationships between an organization and its employees, employees and their managers, and employees and other employees. You'll be introduced to the Effective Employee Relations Conversations framework, which enables HR professionals to conduct effective conversations with team members at all levels of the organization. Throughout the course, you'll have an opportunity to apply key components of this framework by working through a variety of practice activities.

Internal employee investigations are complex and require a step-by-step process. Following a proven process helps organizations ensure that a fair and thorough method is being used for determining whether there have been serious policy violations.

In this course, you will focus on the role and competencies required of internal investigators, be introduced to the components of the internal investigations process, and explore topics that impact the entire process. You will also have the opportunity to identify specific knowledge, skills, and insights you would like to transfer and apply to your role as an investigator.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Conducting Effective Employee Relations Conversations or have equivalent experience.

Conducting interviews — and conducting them effectively — is a critical step in the complex process of internal employee investigations.

In this course, you will focus on the common structure of intake and investigatory interviews, as well as note taking and communication skills for conducting interviews. The course will introduce a case study that focuses on conducting the intake interview.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Conducting Effective Employee Relations Conversations and Internal Investigation Fundamentals, or have equivalent experience.

When investigating the complaint issues, it's important to have a defined method for gathering information during the internal investigation.

In this course, you will concentrate on investigating the issues, which includes planning, structuring, and conducting by actively gathering the information. The course will build on a case study that focuses on a continuous approach for acquiring sufficient information.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Conducting Effective Employee Relations ConversationsInternal Investigation Fundamentals, and Conducting Internal Investigation Interviews, or have equivalent experience.

In order to effectively conclude an internal employee investigation, there are a number of critical steps that need to be followed.

In this course, you will focus on concluding the investigation, determining and implementing outcomes, and evaluating the process. The course will complete a case study that focuses on the final details related to closing an investigation.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Conducting Effective Employee Relations ConversationsInternal Investigation FundamentalsConducting Internal Investigation Interviews, and Investigating Internal Complaint Issues, or have equivalent experience.

Participants can choose between participating in this section of the program through a series of scheduled live online sessions outlined below or through in-person workshops delivered by the ILR School in New York City.


  • Spring 2022:
    • Wednesday and Thursday, 1:30pm – 5:00pm ET
      • May 4-5, 2022
      • May 11-12, 2022
    • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1:30pm – 5:00pm ET
      • May 24-26, 2022
      • June 7-9, 2022
      • June 21-23, 2022

Course 1 – Advanced Internal Investigations Process

What does it take to conduct successful internal investigations? You will study and practice the complete step-by-step internal investigation process by actively engaging with content related to conducting interviews, investigation techniques, determining credibility, managing bias, reaching conclusions, and implementing outcomes. Applying a case study, you will review and use the internal investigations process and interact with expert investigators to discover best practices and acquire new skills.

Course 2 – Advanced Internal Investigations Reports

Appropriate and accurate reports are critical to successful internal investigations. You will explore methods for writing fair, neutral, and effective reports. You will also practice organizing and capturing information when making finding and reaching conclusions, developing documentation, avoiding advocacy language, addressing comparators/credibility, and writing sound conclusions. Considerations include ethical issues and attorney/client privilege. A key takeaway will be a report template that will uphold findings and withstand heightened scrutiny.

Course 3 – Facilitating Conflict: Collaborative Problem Solving

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Learning and applying key problem-solving skills can help you make conflict more manageable for everyone. You will discover techniques, tools, processes, and skills for facilitating conflict using a collaborative problem-solving approach for resolving one-on-one conflicts. Discussions and tools focus on problem solving, listening and messaging skills, conflict styles, neutral issue statements, de-escalating emotions, developing options, and facilitating and gaining commitment.

Course 4 – Advanced Internal Investigations Practice

After studying the internal investigations process, apply your new skills using real-life examples. You will practice techniques using a realistic employee complaint by conducting the intake interview, planning and conducting the investigation, making findings and conclusions, offering recommendations, and implementing the outcome. You will develop these skills under the guidance of expert internal investigators.

You will actively engage with Cornell instructors and your peers as you progress through each topic. Participation at each session is required for successful completion of the certificate program.

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