Timing is of the essence. You should conduct a workplace investigation as soon as practicable to demonstrate that the alleged conduct will not be tolerated, and that the issue warrants immediate attention.
An informal response to complaints made about inappropriate behaviour, bullying or harassment is simply not appropriate. Employers may be held vicariously liable for harassment and bullying behaviour at the workplace, so it’s vital to address such complaints promptly and appropriately.
Delays in initiating a workplace investigation could result in loss of evidence as witnesses’ memories become unreliable, documents are misplaced or footage is taped over or erased. In some cases, you may not become aware of allegations until some time after the incident occurred. Whilst an immediate investigation is optimal, the requirement to investigate as soon as possible is not diminished in delayed circumstances – even if you suspect little evidence remains.