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Get started with whistleblowing

Get started with whistleblowing: A group of people talking.

Don’t let the requirements of the EU Whistleblowing Directive make implementation more challenging than it needs to be. With this simple guide, you’ll soon have all the essentials to get started with your whistleblowing service.

Get started with whistleblowing

First, start by breaking whistleblowing implementation down into these three manageable steps.

  1. Write a whistleblowing policy
  2. Choose a whistleblowing system to handle whistleblowing reports
  3. Communicate the above to employees

If you don’t have any of these in place, read on to learn what’s involved. If you’ve already completed #1 or #2, great! Just move on to what you’re missing.

1. Write your whistleblowing policy

A well-written policy will provide guidance on how the organisation will handle whistleblowing and show that you take employees’ reports seriously. There is no one-size-fits-all policy, but there are some good practice basics you can include. We run through these here.

Why

Make it clear why there is a whistleblowing policy and what the benefits of having a reporting system are. Show you’re committed to hearing employees concerns by providing an accessible and safe environment to do so.

Who

Not only current employees can report misconduct, so include everyone who falls under your whistleblowing policy. This could be for instance contractors, partners, suppliers, board members, former employees, job applicants, and so on.

What

Use this section to outline what people can report on. Also help them understand the difference between reporting a serious concern rather than a personal grievance. Make it clear that whistleblowers won’t be retaliated against.

Learn more: 7 examples of workplace misconduct

How

Now, provide details on how to report concerns and how the organisation will handle the information. Give employees more confidence by helping them understand what the whistleblowing process looks like and how they will be protected.

Learn more: Get some more tips on how to help employees understand your whistleblowing policy.

2. Get started with whistleblowing and choose how to handle reports

Having a policy is a great start and, if you haven’t already, now decide how to handle reports.

The EU Whistleblowing Directive requires companies to have and manage secure reporting channels that keep the identity of the whistleblower anonymous.

“What does this mean?”, we hear you ask.

Well, put simply, you need to provide a way for employees to report suspected wrongdoing, safely. This can be in writing, for example via an online platform or physical post, and/or verbally by phone or a messaging system.

Whichever method you choose, note that your reporting channel must always provide the following:

  • Security
  • Anonymity
  • Easy access
  • Feedback
  • Records of every report
  • The ability to keep to specific timeframes
  • GDPR compliance
  • And have a responsible owner

Online systems, such as Whistlelink are designed to take care of all of the above. With a subscription, you will get your own whistleblowing site with everything set-up and ready for you to use right away.

3. Communicate to get started with whistleblowing

Now you have your whistleblowing policy and reporting channel in place, the last step is let employees and other stakeholders know about them.

Obvious, right? Actually, this step is often overlooked or done poorly.

Effective and regular communication is the key to building an open and supportive culture.  A speak-up culture is more likely to instill trust, and thereby encourage employees to disclose wrongdoing.

Popular ways to communicate are :

  • Company intranet
  • Company newsletter or email bulletin
  • Notice boards or video walls
  • Briefings or other internal events
  • Training sessions
  • Employee handbook

Would you like to learn more about a whistleblowing service and safe internal reporting channels? Read more about the EU Whistleblowing Directive here and at EUR-Lex.

Are you looking for a safe and secure whistleblowing solution? Read more here.

Would you like to discuss a whistleblowing system for your organisation?
Please contact us or book a free demo!

If you have any thoughts about this article or would like to know more about Whistlelink, we’d love to hear from you.

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The EU Whistleblowing Directive explained

Philippa Johnsson,
Whistlelink
 

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