If workplace misconduct goes unnoticed or unreported it could be harmful to individuals and society at large. This is why whistleblowing is so important. If an employee chooses to disclose information externally it could take longer to resolve. Internal channels help employees report misconduct and resolve the issue quicker. However, they still don’t guarantee internal disclosures. Below are some tips on creating a trustworthy working environment to help encourage employees to report misconduct internally.
Employees may feel more motivated to report internally if they know their company is committed to protecting its people and not only its assets.
Build a corporate culture that actively encourages employees to report concerns and supports them when they do so. A culture of integrity is more likely to inspire employees to report internally.
And set the right tone from the top. It helps solidify your company’s approach to whistleblowing and reassures employees that senior management supports them if they speak up.
Achieve an open culture and better understanding of the whistleblowing process through transparent and frequent communication.
On top of communicating your core values and commitment to ethical behaviour, its beneficial to explain how to make a report. When doing this, aim to be:
Choose an an easily accessible and user-friendly reporting method. Try to remove as many barriers as possible. People are already worried about making a report, so the easier you make it, the more likely they are to supply information.
Detail exactly where to find the reporting channel, how to access it and what devices to submit it on. This is especially important for remote workers.
If your reporting channel supports it, allow communication in native languages.
Reduce the fear of retaliation by using a reporting channel that supports anonymity. Reassure your employees, and other relevant stakeholders, that reporting is confidential and there won’t be retaliation.
If people trust that you’ll protect them against negative consequences, it’s likely to increase the chances of internal reporting.
Have the right people in place to receive reports so they are handled professionally and confidentially.
Your response is crucial in building trust. It shows concerns are taken seriously and being acted upon. Aim to reply promptly, carefully, and respectfully to every single report.
Instill further trust by providing a system with high data security that is monitored constantly to protect your sensitive information. Read what Whistlelink does to keep data secure.
Are you looking for a safe and secure whistleblowing solution? Read more here.
If you have any thoughts about this article or would like to know more about Whistlelink, we’d love to hear from you.
Philippa Johnsson, Whistlelink
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