EEO, Investigations, Training

Now Available: 32-Hour Online EEO Investigator Certification

We are very excited to announce that today, Friday, January 30th, our much-anticipated Art of Resolution 32-hour online Federal EEO Investigator Certification Course is available.  This self-paced course meets all EEOC certification requirements.  The course has a number of best-in-class features that enhance the learning experience and differentiate it from other online offerings.  Chief among these features are real-time access to instructors, a comprehensive investigator’s manual, and a variety of learning methods such as audio-enhanced PowerPoint presentatio

EEO, HR, Investigations

Investigating Non-Selection Complaints

In our last post, we discussed how to defend non-selections from a selecting official’s perspective. In this post, we’ll discuss this issue from an investigator’s perspective. Those of us trained as EEO investigators, are familiar with the shifting burdens of proof outlined in McDonnell Douglas v. Green. Of specific note is management’s burden to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its actions. In this case, we are looking for management’s reasons for not selecting the complainant. Countless times, we see (as investigators and reviewers of investigatio


Making a Bullet Proof Selection – Part 3

In part 1 we talked about recruiting for the best applicants; in part 2 we talked about making the right selections and now, in this 3rd and final part, let’s talk about defending the selection. By doing the work upfront that defines how the selection process will be handled, you have already laid the foundation to defend it. The first component is to ensure the process is followed consistently. As soon as a manager doesn’t do what the plan says they are going to do, they are placing the organization at risk. As soon as a manager doesn’t follow the same process as the re


Making a Bullet-Proof Selection, Part 2

Last week in part 1, we discussed the importance of having an accurate position description and the need for it to describe the skills needed to be successful in the position. The next thing I do is work with the manager to ensure a plan is in place that differentiates among applicants and to gets the best applicants to the selecting official. Review at the merit promotion plan, crediting plan or whatever it is you use to outline the process and establish the guidelines for selection. It’s probably a combination of things. I can’t count how many times a manager has told me


Making a Bullet-Proof Selection, Part 1

Those of us who have been managers (especially in the Federal government) have all been there—you make a selection and you hold your breath while you wait to see if someone challenges the decision.  While there is no way to prevent complaints or grievances, there are ways to reduce your vulnerability if your decision is challenged. When people apply for a vacancy, they generally believe they are the best-qualified applicant for the position and expect to get the position.  For example, say fifteen people apply for a vacancy, the selectee is excited for the new opportunit

Conflict Management, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 5: Manage Conflict Effectively (Conclusion)

This is a continuation of our last post, Manage Conflict Effectively and the conclusion in our series Improving Your Influence. We’ll use the example we started in the last post (link here) to illustrate the next strategy: focusing on interests, rather than positions. To summarize our example, Jim tells you he’s unhappy that Mike, his supervisor, routinely returns his work for revisions. He claims Mike is unreasonable. You help reframe the problem so that it focuses less on Mike, but more on what Jim can do to minimize the need for revisions by discussing it with Mike. J

EEO, Investigations

Investigator Tricks of the Trade, Part 5: 5 Essential Qualities Shared by Exceptional Investigators

There are many companies and agencies actively recruiting competent investigators with the tools to perform efficiently and skillfully with minimal orientation. So we asked ourselves whether there were specific experiences, training or skills shared by exceptional investigators. What we found most interesting is that regardless of whether an investigator works for an agency or a private company; or whether they performing investigations as full-time employees or as contractors, investigators who performed consistently well share an exceptional command of investigative t

Conflict Management, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 4: Manage Conflict Effectively

If you want to improve your influence in an organization, you need to avoid getting caught up with conflict and drama in the office. Being mired in conflict draws your focus away from your responsibilities, and more importantly, your goal to become more influential. While you may do a good job of avoiding conflict, your co-workers may try to pull you into theirs. In that case, you can actually add value (see previous post link here) by helping others navigate through the conflict. We’ve taken these ideas from the book Getting to Yes, by Fisher and Uri. The focus of the b

EEO, Investigations

Investigator Tricks of the Trade, Part 4: What Makes a Good EEO Investigative Summary?

EEOC’s MD-110 gives a basic description of an investigative summary. They say it is “a narrative document that succinctly states the issues and delineates the evidence addressing both sides of each issue in the case. The summary should state facts (supported in the complaint file) sufficient to sustain a conclusion(s). The summary should cite to evidence and the exhibits collected.” This description provides the basic information that should be included in the summary, and each agency will have its own requirement as to format and style, but there are qualities that are co

Career Development, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 3: Become the MVP

In the past 2 posts in this series we’ve been talking about positioning yourself to improve your influence.   We’re going to continue the discussion by focusing on what elevates you to the next level in any organization. Think about whom you consider the most valuable players in your organization or other places you’ve worked.   Now think of any player that has been named MVP, received the Heisman Trophy, or the Jim Thorpe award. What do all of these individuals have in common?  They deliver reliable results, consistently and when the chips are down. There are many who can