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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

Handling Employee Concerns & Complaints

Address the concern and investigate on a neutral turf with a witness and privacy.

3-Step Investigation Process

1) Clarify

  • When you are approached with a concern, discuss the concern directly with the employee to gain a full understanding of the specific concern.
  • Use funnel questions, that is starting with wide, open-ended questions and then ask for more details.

2) Listen

  • Listen intently and don’t add your personal comments nor add details to the employee’s complaint.
  • When considering the information, don’t take sides or defend an action.

3) Document

  • Write everything important down verbatim.
  • Ask the employee with the complaint to review the statement and then obtain a signature from the employee and witness.
  • Be sure to include the date, time, duration, and location of the discussion.

Thank the employee(s) for coming forward with the concern or complaint and thank any employees participating in the “fact-finding process” for cooperating.  Then write a report, including any evidence, and reach out to the appropriate office (see below).

If any evidence is a computer file, don’t modify the original file.  Make a copy to preserve time stamp.

Avoid 3 Most Common Investigation Mistakes

These are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not listening intently to the reporting employee.  Provide your complete attention to the employee.
  • Agreeing not to take action and agreeing to confidentiality.  Take action and report concern, if and where appropriate.
  • Assuming the guilt or innocence of people involved.

Reporting Concerns to University Officials

Report concerns involving an employee (faculty or staff member) to:

Department of Human Resources
Phone: 662-915-7431 or Email:

Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance:
Phone: 662-915-7735 or Email:

Report concerns involving a contractor or visitor to:

University Police Department
Phone: 662-915-7234 or Email:

Note:  Complaints that violate a University policy or state law must be thoroughly investigated by the appropriate University office.

If you are ever uncertain about how to handle a situation, please contact Human Resources.  We are here to help you!