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3 Ways to Communicate Your Ethics Hotline

The Problem Is Lack of Communication!

This claim is pervasive in the workplace, and while many of us office dwellers have said it, even more of us have heard it echoed through the halls.

Our aim is to eliminate this over used phrase, at least when it applies to ethics reporting, or whistleblower hotlines.

Ever wonder how to communicate an ethics hotline? stock photo tin cans connected by strings

When implementing an ethics hotline, management is most concerned with finding the right provider, assessing the cost-benefit and pushing any proposals through a busy boardroom in order to get the ‘go-ahead’. What these finance-concerned professionals often forget is that every successful ethics hotline is, in fact, the product of a confident and informed staff.

A powerful ethics reporting hotline should inform staff at every level:

  • how to identify and categorize a real ethics breach
  • how to use the ethics reporting system correctly
  • what to expect and how to track your claim

Ethics hotlines and their associated support network are central to compliance, fraud mitigation and increasing shareholder confidence. Here are a few methods that should be part of your communication strategy.

Ethics 101
It's important to have an introduction to workplace ethics. Training your staff on how to spot an ethics infraction and how to use an ethics hotline, as outlined in your Code of Ethics, will enable employees to recognize ethics breaches, distinguish between types of breaches based on your unique business, and ensure they are familiar with the ethics reporting system and its capabilities.

Posters & Wallet Cards
Tangible reminders of the hotline are great ways to keep employees aware of the hotline and their duty to their company and to their fellow employees to use it. Posters that are hung in communal areas, referencing the program, keep it's existence top of mind. Also, wallet cards, handed out to each employees, contain contact information for quick referencing, and can conveniently be kept close at hand.

Lunch & Learns
Who doesn't love free lunch. Providing employees with a lunch, and then using that time together to go over case studies, address questions and talk about best practices will leave your employees feeling not only full, but fulfilled. Lunch & Learns are great ways to get the conversation about risk mitigation strategies energized, and employee confidence and morale boosted.

These are just three of the many communication methods that companies can take to get the word out on their whistleblower hotline. Keeping the conversation going will ensure you never hear "we were never told!"

eBook 5 Steps to Communicate Your Ethics Reporting Program

photo Amanda Nieweler
About the Author
Amanda writes for WhistleBlower Security about ethics, compliance, workplace culture, and whistleblower hotlines. Amanda brings her nearly two decades of risk and compliance experience to the WBS blog where she is dedicated to helping people and companies promote speak-up cultures.