How to proceed an external investigation

A successful workplace inquiry takes a series of procedures to guarantee a fair result for all and an objective investigation. While. investigation is somewhat different, here is a brief overview of the steps normally taken in the investigative process:

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DEFINE THE SCOPE AND TERMS OF REFERENCE

Before engaging an external investigator or with the assistance of the investigator, clients must determine what is wrong with the behaviour that has been reported – define the scope of the investigation and prepare initial allegations or issues to be investigated. Clearly articulating the scope and allegations made in writing to the investigator is a high determinant of success for the investigation and welfare of staff involved.

APPOINT AN EXTERNAL INVESTIGATOR

It’s important to take time to find the right external investigator. A poorly undertaken investigation could be a waste of time and money and could leave you liable for additional costs in the long term, especially if a dissatisfied employee decides to take further action against the outcome or the way the investigation was conducted. Make sure you find a professional investigator with a Private Investigator licence. The licencing process ensures minimum qualifications/experience, and a code of practice. After establishing the correct licence find an investigator with a good track record, solid experience and understanding of the law, particularly in the specific area you are investigating.

ANALYSE THE INFORMATION THAT’S AVAILABLE

The first step of an external investigator should take is to thoroughly examine the information that’s available. In cases of harassment this means looking at all the records and any evidence on either side and gaining a general understanding of the circumstances, workplace policies and any issues that could have led up to the alleged bullying or misconduct. Once the investigator has an understanding of the situation he or she can make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

INTERVIEWING THE COMPLAINANT AND WITNESSES

After the investigator has discussed the situation in depth with the client, the next step is to interview the complainant, any witnesses to gather further information. Interviews should be conducted in a private location, recorded and allowing the interviewees to have a support person present if they wish. Copies of records must be provided to individuals to check and sign. In many investigations the initial interviews may reveal new or different information or additional leads. If this is the case, follow up interviews may be required to verify or further investigate new allegations or information

EXAMINATION OF RECORDS

The investigator should be given access to all relevant documents, emails and available digital data to corroborate statements made by witnesses. To ensure impartiality, the examination of disciplinary records should only be undertaken if relevant to the facts at issue. The final decision maker can use prior disciplinary records to determine an appropriate penalty but this should not be considered at the investigation stage.

PUTTING THE ALLEGATIONS TO THE RESPONDENT

Only when all the evidence has been gathered is it appropriate to speak to the respondent. Speaking to the respondent last ensures that all relevant allegations and evidence can be put to the respondent for a full and fair response. It is a requirement to meet the obligations under procedural fairness to provide the respondent the opportunity to respond to all allegations this should be done in an environment that is supportive. Audio record this interview wherever possible and make sure the respondent gets a copy to sign. Respondents should always be given the opportunity to have a support person present to give support but not advocate on their behalf. It is fair to provide an opportunity for a written response to be provided also.

ANALYSIS AND REPORT

Once all the information has been obtained, the investigator will analyse the information and produce a report detailing their findings. The report should detail the investigator’s findings, whether the allegations of misconduct or bullying can be upheld and show how they reached their conclusion. They may also make recommendations for further action by management.

NOTIFY PARTIES INVOLVED

The complainant and the respondent should be notified of the outcome of the investigation and what further steps are required on both sides. It’s important that any workplace investigation follows a logical process and that findings are carefully detailed to avoid further legal action and ensure a fair outcome. A well-managed investigation can help resolve the situation and lets everyone move on as quickly as possible.

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Tips for staffs to write a perfect business report

Whether you are a seasoned writer who needs a bit of a refresher or someone who just found out the importance of business reports, we’re here to help!

Maybe you have the entrepreneurial skills to craft one of the most fantastic business your team or investors have ever read. This step-by-step guide will help you get started and offer you plenty of tips which you can incorporate into your business writing.

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Create a plan

A team of professionals within your organisation will read your business report, so you should treat it with the same finesse and dedication as you would an office project. It’s essential to create a plan on what to write before you begin gathering information and performing research. Indeed, you must have a blueprint in your mind of what you wish to accomplish.

By taking this simple step, you’ll have a clear idea of what you are going to write. If you refrain from doing so, you will have a complicated, tedious and lengthy report on your hands.

Identify the aim and type of report

Every piece of business writing requires a goal you wish to achieve. You may not have the knack of a scribe, but you can still use the power of language to fulfil your aims.
Not every business report is the same. This may not seem like common knowledge when you’re cutting your teeth in the industry, but you will eventually come across formats suited for different occasions or particular templates meant for a specific audience.

Draft a business report template

When you start composing a report, it can help to draft a template, which can then be reused for future business documents. This can also save you time in the future. Here are aspects you should include in your draft:

  • Title page: Title of the report, authors name and the date.
  • Business summary: A section to highlight the significant findings of the report. It should be brief and used mostly in long reports.
  • Introduction: A statement for infor ming the purpose of your writing and outlining what you have achieved.
  • Findings: The primary body of the text that shares ideas, information, statistics, opinions, judgments and other relevant data. The findings should be separated into paragraphs with subheading.
  • Conclusion: What did you find? What are your recommendations? Are you appraising the situation? Your conclusion is critical to the success of the report.
  • Bibliography: A list of all your sources and cited works that were used to complete the project.
  • Glossary: A glossary of terms might be suitable if a business report is being extended to others unfamiliar with the characteristics of the industry.

Insert infographics and visuals

Imagine reading a 100-page business report full of words; even the most dedicated industry veteran would find this monotonous and dry unless the entire report was full of humorous insights. But your comedy should not be included in your business writing. Therefore, the next best thing is inserting infographics that will act as a visual aid for crucial data or recommendations. Most experts would agree that colourful graphs and charts are usually the go-to sources for visuals.

Use concise language

Business writing is different from academic writing. The former relies more on the principle of ‘time is money,’ while the latter focuses more on expanding the minutest of points. Business writing requires getting to the nitty-gritty as soon as you can. Although you should incorporate formal language and precise terminology in your overall report, you should still attempt not to be so, well, dull.

Package your report

The best thing you can do for your thoroughly researched and well-written business report is this cherry on top: polished packaging. What better way to present your complete writing to your team or clients than by inserting it in a nice-looking folder, organising the report in a binder or printing your genius on fine paper? You want to look as sharp as possible, and how you choose to package your report will put you, and your firm, in a positive spotlight. Remember, you will mostly work solo when producing these documents, which does require you to tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and fall back on your wits.

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The purposes of an investigative report

Writing an investigative report is one of the most tedious tasks an investigator undertakes. But, because it’s an important showcase of the investigation, you can’t skimp on this critical investigation step. Your investigative report reflects on you and your investigation, so make sure it’s as clear, comprehensive, accurate and polished as possible.

 

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An investigative report has many purposes.

  • It’s a document that sparks some sort of action based on the official findings it presents. This could be a termination of employment, corrective action, implementation of training, counselling, or some other action taken based on the findings.
  • The investigation report is also a record of the steps of the investigation. It can be used to prove that your investigation was timely, complete and fair.
  • The information contained in the investigation report may be cited in any legal action, so it’s important that the report is detailed and accurate, but does not include unnecessary detail that can get the company into trouble.
  • The process of writing the investigation report can sometimes clarify your thinking and can even uncover additional questions that provide new insight into a case.
  • The investigation report provides valuable data that can be used to implement control and prevention measures in your company. We’ve compiled a step-by-step framework for writing an investigative report that will meet the needs of your supervisors, colleagues and anyone else who may require it.

Investigative Report “Musts” Before you begin, it’s important to understand the three critical tasks of a workplace investigative report.

  • It must be organized in a way that anybody internally or externally can understand it without having to reference other materials.
  • It must document the investigative findings objectively and accurately and provide decision makers with enough information to determine whether they should take further action.
  • It must indicate whether the allegations were substantiated, unsubstantiated or whether there’s something missing that is needed to come to a conclusion.
  • Don’t gamble with your company’s investigation processes.
  • i-Sight software is a better way to manage investigations. i-Sight is a specialized investigative case management tool to make your investigations more efficient and consistent. Request your demo of i-Sight to find out how users are saving time, closing more cases, reducing risk, and improving compliance.
 

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Measuring investigation progess effectively

There are many different ways to measure investigation process effectiveness, but I will just focus on the basics here. If you want to talk about this topic in more detail, feel free to connect with me and we can dig into your particular challenges in more detail. With no further ado, here are some key investigation process measures most people should be tracking, but often don’t track.

 

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Investigation Process Time Invested

I like to track two time dimensions when I look at investigation process performance. First of all, what is our average process cycle time in days? Second, how many people hours did we invest in achieving this ‘number of days’ cycle time? Sadly, this basic measure is rarely tracked, let alone optimized, for each investigation that is performed.

We often make the mistake of using groups that are too large when trying to solve problems. Many people can be involved in collecting evidence. We lose process efficiency and effectiveness however when we try to put them all in the same room at the same time. Additionally, we often lack good group facilitators or fail to collect good evidence. This only magnifies the potential for lost time and money when a group meets.

Investigation Process Cost

I firmly believe that if managers knew the real costs of their process challenges, they would be making very different decisions. Do you track the costs of your investigation process? At a minimum, we should know the costs of the people hours we invested in trying to solve a problem. Ideally, we should also include at least some of the cost of process errors (waste) in our cost totals as well.

You don’t have to have an exact number here. Multiplying a weighted average wage rate by the total people hours invested will give you a good enough reference to use. Cost however is not a value to minimized! Instead, we should try to optimize the hours and dollars we invest trying to solve a problem. We do this by looking for correlations between our time and cost measures and other key investigation process measures over time. Value is the goal. What quality of fixes do we get for the time we invest?\

Investigation Process Morale and Teamwork

How often do we damage our company culture by investigating problems in an accusatory manner? How often do we damage our credibility as leaders by blaming people instead of systems? Morale and teamwork are not that hard to measure, but we often fail to even give these factors consideration when we are looking at investigation process effectiveness.

Surveys serve as the primary tool for measuring an investigation process from a morale and teamwork perspective. A post-investigation survey can be used to gauge team and customer satisfaction with the process that was used, for example. You can also include a couple of questions related to investigation process involvement and effectiveness in your regular workforce climate survey.

Investigation Process Safety

This should be one of the easier measures to obtain. If you are having injuries occur as a result of the investigation process itself, shame on you. This can, and does, happen however. Additionally, one could argue that having similar injuries post-investigation because our fixes failed should be included.

At a minimum, we should track whether or not we experienced ANY type of injury, no matter how minor, as a result of our investigative efforts. We should keep in mind that failing to secure a scene, releasing a scene too quickly, or continuing to work when hazards exist, will raise the potential for this to happen.

Investigation Process Quality

The key question to ask here is “What indicators serve as proof that our fixes worked?” Many people feel that if the incident or problem being investigated does not occur again, then the fixes must have worked. There is nothing wrong with using such an indicator, but I feel it needs to be supplemented with more error-sensitive leading indicators.

Behavior-based observation rates provide a better indication of fix effectiveness. Waiting for another bad thing to happen is not the best way to know if your fixes worked or not. Instead, we should be looking for trends that show if the errors, safeguard gaps, and equipment failures that led to the incident are diminishing. Similarly, we should measure if defined root causes are occurring less frequently.

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Top 5 investing books in 2020

Whether you’re an established investor or only beginning your first venture, it’s always worth getting a clear grasp of the rules and patterns and keeping them up to date as they change.

Professional advice and feedback from other customers who have excelled will even come in handy. These are the best 5 books for investors which are recommended by Vietnam investigation:

 

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The intelligent investor

Before his death, “The Intelligent Investor” author Benjamin Graham was a renowned professor known as the godfather of investing, and Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal columnist, adds in some commentary in this revised edition.
This book takes a different approach from other investing books, although it’s not without positive encouragement. It won’t tell you how to make millions, but rather how not to lose your shirt. The authors impart must-read basics to get you started in investing and keep you going for a long time, from recommended strategies and how to analyze stocks to a comprehensive history lesson on the stock market.

Graham published the first edition of this book in 1949, and even Warren Buffett has called that version “the best book on investing ever written.”

 

 

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns” takes the surprising approach that for many investors, the stock market is a lose-lose proposition.

Bogle then explains what he learned to turn the odds in his favor. This isn’t his only book, but it’s the one that covers his own personal innovative techniques and truths in a relatively short and easy read.

 

 

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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America

 You’d be hard-pressed to name a more successful investor than Buffett, and he’s taken the time to share what he knows and has learned on the subject over the years.

The title addresses “corporate America,” but you can take that to include shareholders. The book offers an excellent explanation of the relationship between corporations and their shareholders, which makes it ideal for those new to investing. Plus, this collection of essays spans more than 50 years.

 

 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street 

“A Random Walk Down Wall Street” is invaluable reading for those who are trying to get a handle. First, you have to learn to talk the talk, or at least understand what’s being said when someone else speaks it.
Malkiel’s book includes some handy definitions of investment terms, and it applies them to various investment strategies geared toward different stages in life. He emphasizes long-term investments rather than get-rich-quick schemes, and how to predict prices and avoid common mistakes. This is a revised edition of a book that’s been around for a while. “A Random Walk” has sold more than 1.5 million copies to date.

 

 

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Daniel Kahneman knows a thing or two about thinking—he’s a psychology professor at Princeton University and understands a lot about finances, having won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

His New York Times bestseller, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” delves into how your thought processes can affect your success in investing. Everyone harbors their own little biases, sometimes subconsciously. Kahneman explains how to identify your own and lock them away so you can make investment decisions without their input, thinking clearly, rationally, and analytically. 

 

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The importance of due diligence checklist template

Due diligence checklist structure is important for lawyers and law firms engaged in major deals, such as the merger and acquisition (M&A) phase.

Using a guide, timeline or model form provides attorneys an structured and effective tool to help them compile, interpret and review all the details they have obtained during both basic and complicated legal procedures.

 

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A checklist, template, or flowchart is useful in almost any legal situation where an attorney wants to control the process or workflow. Besides, obvious topics such as financial information and strategic fit, a template can shed light on numerous other issues:

  • Gathering information on employee plans, such as health insurance, disability, severance plans, retirement plans, or any stock purchase or incentive plans. This is especially important during an M&A process, where the purchasing corporation needs to know what plans the target corporation offers its employees.
  • General corporate matters such as charter documents, board members, security holders, and the minutes of stockholder and board of director meetings are necessary to the acquisition process. This, of course, can be time-consuming, eating up work hours very quickly. A template or checklist helps streamline the information, making sure legal teams stay on track and investigate only the information they need.
  • A due diligence checklist or template can help a target company get further intelligence on competitors. The buyer will have access to the target company’s current and anticipated competitors, which may be new data. This allows the buyer to immediately determine the advantages and disadvantages of the company’s products and technologies.

Becoming a global citizen: the new journey

Becoming-a-global citizen

A global citizen is someone who has an awareness of the world and how human actions can impact on it.

They’re curious about the environment, nature, human cultures, geology and economics, and how they all connect with each other. They also have a desire to positively contribute to communities to improve life for others.

This post is provided by Vietnam Investigations to know how to become a global citizen:

Learn a new language

Being able to speak another language is useful and rewarding in so many ways. But, when it comes to becoming a better global citizen, it’s one of the best.
Learning a new language means that you gain an appreciation and insight into other cultures that you may previously not have had. You become more aware of culture differences, why they exist and the importance of respecting them.
According to researchers, when students learn another language, they develop new ways of understanding culture and ways of thinking and behaving.
Students can critically think about stereotypes of different cultures related to food, appearance and conversation styles.

Make greener choices

Recycling, reducing waste, energy saving, and water conservation all lessen the impact on the environment.
Save energy by turning off lights, unplugging appliances when not in use and buying appliances and lights with good energy ratings and efficiency.
Conserve water by installing a rain water tank, water efficient shower heads and appliances.
Reduce waste by using reusable containers, water and coffee cups. Avoid using plastic bags, straws and disposable items. Upcycle where possible or buy second hand and create a compost heap for scraps.

Volunteer

Volunteer to help out a local charity or one that works with overseas organisations. If you’re keen to take it a step further, hop on a plane and spend some time volunteering overseas.
Seeing first-hand how your voluntary efforts are making a difference to others is a great feeling, as is connecting with those you’re helping. It’s also a good way of educating yourself on the issues that other countries may be facing.

Travel as much as possible

Travelling is one of the best ways to explore the globe, understand and experience different cultures and country challenges first hand, as well as meet new friends.
Gaining a global perspective can help us reflect and appreciate what we have, and increased empathy for others is a key characteristic in becoming a better global citizen.
Before travelling, think about what you’re really passionate about doing or discovering. Think local cuisine, local temples or going off the beaten track. Research if you can and connect with locals who can help.
Sharing a common passion is a good way to see commonalities from a new viewpoint.

Education 

Educating yourself about what’s going on in the world is a great way to become a better global citizen. With a multitude of sources available at our fingertips, learning is only ever a click away.
Learn about different cultures online. Read blogs and news sites about different country’s politics, current affairs and cultures, and research local cultural community events or celebrations which you can attend.

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The most important skills for the negotiation state

The circumstances of negotiation occur when two parties or groups of individuals disagree on the solution for a problem or the goal for a project or contract. A successful negotiation requires the two parties to come together and hammer out an agreement that is acceptable to both.

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Problem Analysis to Identify Interests and Goals

Effective negotiators must have the skills to analyze a problem to determine the interests of each party in the negotiation. A detailed problem analysis identifies the issue, the interested parties and the outcome goals. For example, in an employer and employee contract negotiation, the problem or area where the parties disagree may be in salary or benefits. Identifying the issues for both sides can help to find a compromise for all parties.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Negotiation is not necessarily a one side against another arrangement. Effective negotiators must have the skills to work together as a team and foster a collaborative atmosphere during negotiations. Those involved in a negotiation on both sides of the issue must work together to reach an agreeable solution.

Preparation Before a Meeting

Before entering a bargaining meeting, the skilled negotiator prepares for the meeting. Preparation includes determining goals, areas for trade and alternatives to the stated goals. In addition, negotiators study the history of the relationship between the two parties and past negotiations to find areas of agreement and common goals. Past precedents and outcomes can set the tone for current negotiations.

Active Listening Skills

Negotiators have the skills to listen actively to the other party during the debate. Active listening involves the ability to read body language as well as verbal communication. It is important to listen to the other party to find areas for compromise during the meeting. Instead of spending the bulk of the time in negotiation expounding the virtues of his viewpoint, the skilled negotiator will spend more time listening to the other party.

Keep Emotions in Check

It is vital that a negotiator have the ability to keep his emotions in check during the negotiation. While a negotiation on contentious issues can be frustrating, allowing emotions to take control during the meeting can lead to unfavorable results. For example, a manager frustrated with the lack of progress during a salary negotiation may concede more than is acceptable to the organization in an attempt to end the frustration.

Ethics and Reliability

Ethical standards and reliability in an effective negotiator promote a trusting environment for negotiations. Both sides in a negotiation must trust that the other party will follow through on promises and agreements. A negotiator must have the skills to execute on his promises after bargaining ends.

Clear and Effective Communication

Negotiators must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively to the other side during the negotiation. Misunderstandings can occur if the negotiator does not state his case clearly. During a bargaining meeting, an effective negotiator must have the skills to state his desired outcome as well as his reasoning.

Problem Solving Skills

Individuals with negotiation skills have the ability to seek a variety of solutions to problems. Instead of focusing on his ultimate goal for the negotiation, the individual with skills can focus on solving the problem, which may be a breakdown in communication, to benefit both sides of the issue.

Decision Making Ability

Leaders with negotiation skills have the ability to act decisively during a negotiation. It may be necessary during a bargaining arrangement to agree to a compromise quickly to end a stalemate.

Maintaining Good Relationships

Effective negotiators have the interpersonal skills to maintain a good working relationship with those involved in the negotiation. Negotiators with patience and the ability to persuade others without using manipulation can maintain a positive atmosphere during a difficult negotiation.

 

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The top 3 successful firms for M&A

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This post provides top 3 successful examples for Mergers and Acquisitions in the history.

Disney and Pixar / Marvel Acquisition

In 2006, Walt Disney Co. acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion. Since then, movies such as Finding Dory, Toy Story 3, and WALL-E, have generated billions in revenue. Three years after the Pixar acquisition, Disney’s CEO Bob Igger, set out to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.
Considering 11 Marvel movies have brought in more than $3.5 billion since the acquisition, and is a good example of a successful acquisition across all fronts.

Google and Android Acquisition

In 2005, Google acquired Android for an estimated $50 million. At the time of the deal, Android was an unknown mobile startup company. The move made it possible for Google to compete in a market owned by Microsoft with Windows Mobile and Apple’s iPhone.
This deal is a successful acquisition example, 54.5 percent, of U.S. smartphone subscribers use a Google Android device as of May 2018

Exxon and Mobile Merger

In 1998, Exxon Corp. and Mobil Corp. made news when they announced their plans to merge. At the time, the companies were the first and second largest U.S. oil producers.
The deal closed at a whopping $80 billion and since the deal was made; investors have quadrupled their money and shares have gone up 293 percent with dividends reinvented.

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OECD due diligence: an international standard

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As the leading international standard, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains is referenced in a range of international declarations, regulations and initiatives.

The Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, based on the OECD Guidance, were adopted in December 2015 at a workshop in Beijing. The Guidelines are designed to align Chinese company due diligence with international standards and allow for mutual recognition with existing international initiatives and legislations.

In 2012, the US Securities and Exchange Commission recognised the OECD Guidance as an international framework for due diligence measures undertaken by companies that are required to file a conflict minerals report under the final rule implementing section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The US Department of State endorses the Guidance and encourages companies to draw upon it as they establish their due diligence practices. Press Release: SEC Adopts Rule for Disclosing Use of Conflict Minerals

In May 2017, the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2017/821. The Regulation lays down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas in accordance with the 5 steps of the OECD Guidance. The EU Regulation will enter into force in January 2021.

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