Create a speak-up culture with a whistleblower hotline
Taking steps to minimize the risk of fraud and workplace misconduct is important for any organization. That’s why whistleblower reporting tools are becoming so fundamental for many companies. Such tools serve as an easy way for employees to tip off management about unethical practices and misconduct in the workplace without fear or repercussion, meaning it can help to uncover any wrongdoing or illegal behaviour. This can protect your reputation and bottom line.
Are you considering implementing whistleblower tools into your company? If so, read on to learn more about how implementing a speak-up whistleblower hotline can benefit and safeguard your business, not to mention your employees.
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What is a Whistleblower Hotline?
A whistleblower hotline is an important method of connecting your employees with management in order to gain a holistic understanding of a company's workplace culture. In the past, the word 'whistleblower' had many negative connotations associated with it. The word would be associated with snitch, rat, traitor. The list went on. Essentially, a person nobody wanted to be associated with.
But today, organizations across the globe are not only mandated to implement a whistleblower reporting intake mechanism, they genuinely see the benefit of doing so, from increasing employee morale and retention, to satisfying ESG requirements.
The below 10 pieces of information are your key reasons to implement a whistleblower hotline!
Effective Risk Management
Whistleblower reporting software is designed to provide the necessary tools and procedures for employees to report any wrongdoing that they’ve witnessed in their workplace. This includes but is not limited to theft, sexual harassment, discrimination, or misrepresentation of facts and data. The service benefits the company as a whole, creating an effective way to assess and manage risks, therefore dealing with any situations before they can damage the reputation of the company.
Fraud is based on lies. And when an employee or someone in an authority-based position commits it, it can be challenging to detect. Even when there are blatant red flags and witnesses, the risk runs high for someone to report this without a means to do so safely and anonymously. A whistleblower hotline gives reluctant employees a trusted mechanism that can encourage them to file a report and help to protect your business.
Workplace Harassment and Bullying
Harassment, bullying and inappropriate behaviour should never be accepted in an organization. Aside from making employees feel unsafe and uncomfortable, this type of workplace culture can lead to a lack of morale, low productivity, and a high turnover rate, all of which can negatively impact your bottom line. Employees who fear repercussions for whistleblowing or are unsure whether to disclose information about illegal misbehaviour in the workplace may become absent more often due to stress. Show your team that any workplace bullying and discrimination won’t be tolerated by providing an effective way for them to report it.
Prevents Unwanted Media Attention
Companies, their leaders, and employees are featured on the news all the time for misconduct, including harassment, discrimination, fraud and misrepresentation of data. Whistleblowing is an effective internal tool that allows the leaders of the company to identify problems in the workplace and rectify them. Keeping your company scandal-free will make it more appealing to possible investors, stakeholders, and future employees.
Better Company Image
By implementing whistleblowing tools and policies, you’ll give your company a better reputation. It shows investors, vendors, potential employees - anyone looking into your company – that you care about addressing misconduct and value honesty. For potential employees, a workplace with a speak-up culture is better for mental health and altogether less stressful. It’s a zero-tolerance company culture where people are encouraged to speak up. For investors, it is more secure and reliable.
Root Out Real Problems vs. Complaints
Disgruntled employees may take to social media or the human resource department with complaints that they believe to be true examples of ethical misconduct. However, there is a difference. If they report to the ethics hotline, the situation will be investigated. Sometimes there are no real dilemmas, just hurt feelings. If this is the case, the company will feel secure knowing that an investigation has been done and there is no proof of misconduct.
A Key Structure in Your Business
All businesses should have a whistleblowing policy. Big companies will gain a lot of media attention and lose funding if they’re caught in a scandal. Small businesses could be ruined by ethical misconduct. For companies that are just starting out, a whistleblowing policy should be among the first things established. With employees receiving the proper training and having access to whistleblowing reporting hotline, your business will be protected. It will stay and grow with your business, and could be one of the factors investors look at when they choose to fund your company.
When thinking about whistleblowing reporting tools, it’s often the protection of the whistleblower that is most concerning. However, a whistleblowing system isn’t just about protecting the whistleblower. If an employee is behaving unethically, their leader is responsible for them. Sometimes employers and directors don’t know that employees have been stealing, creating misleading advertisements, or price-fixing until it’s too late. By relying on the eyes and ears of other employees in the workplace, everyone is protected.
Workplace Safety and Protection
Implementing appropriate occupational and safety policies and procedures should include a way for staff to report any concerns or claims of unsafe work conditions. Early reporting and detection can allow a company to be proactive and take the necessary steps to remediate any hazardous situations that could otherwise land them in legal jeopardy. Employees have a legal right to say ‘no’ to work they deem unsafe or unethical. Having a whistleblowing program shows employees that their safety is important to company leaders.
Good Corporate Governance
Having a quality team is the backbone of any successful business. But without a healthy workplace culture and good corporate governance, it can be hard to find and keep said team. Now more than ever, employees want to work with a company that values and appreciates them without the need to micromanage. That’s why having sound policies and procedures that contribute to good corporate governance is important if you want to attract the best talent. There are now websites where potential employees can get an inside look of what the company culture is like before signing a contract, and the smart ones will research a company before joining it. An effective whistleblower program demonstrates your level of commitment, accountability and responsibility.
If you’re ready to implement ethics reporting tools and create a speak-up culture in your workplace, our simplified and intuitive whistleblower hotline service provides employees with full anonymity to file reports in a safe manner. Contact us to learn more.