In a recent survey by Public Concern at Work (PCaW), it was clear that many workers in the UK lack knowledge of, or faith in, their organization's whistleblower program.
As well, many people who called in for advice felt that whistleblowers were victimized or were unsatisfied with how their concerns were handled.
Compared to the same period last year, PCaW received 13% more calls to their advice line. The month of April alone saw 61% more calls concerning public interest issues.
A few key statistics of those who called into the advice line asking for help on if or how they should report wrongdoing show:
One in ten workers said they had a concern about possible corruption, danger, or serious malpractice at work
Financial malpractice accounted for 15% of the calls
Ethical concerns followed that with 14%
72% of workers view the term 'whistleblower' as positive or neutral
More statistics can be seen on the infographic
It seems clear that many of the calls that came in were from employees who had the best interests of their employer at heart and wanted to learn the best way to report a concern without repercussions. And even though more and more companies are adopting whistleblower policies and reporting platforms, many employees are still unsure about what will happen when they do come forward.
This phenomenon isn't exclusive to the UK. Many employees across the globe are still uncertain about what will happen if they do speak up. It's a fear that most have, many may not have to go through, and others suddenly come face to face with.
It's not enough that a company checks off an important box by implementing a whistleblower hotline. It has to mean something. It has to be delivered from the top down.
After implementing a service, complete follow through needs to happen, including:
Training main stakeholders
Assisting the company with communication to employees
Providing training materials
And of course, having a program that is easy to use, assures anonymity, yet is robust enough to get to the route of important issues
It's hard to know everything that's happening in a company - top and middle management can't be in two places at the same time. That's why it's important to provide employees with the tools that give them confidence to report wrongdoing, and provides management with the right information to stop the bad stuff before it gets out of hand.
Let us provide you with the tools that will help you invest in your organization's development.