Introducing an ethics hotline into your company? Introductions can be awkward. Introducing a new system into your company can be fraught with challenges. And blank stares... Many times employees are happy with the way things are rolling along and wonder why rock the boat? Other employees welcome new ideas.
The ethics hotline is there for a very good reason You've witnessed verbal or physical abuse at your work. You think a manager and an employee are getting a wee bit too close. Your very limited financial knowledge is leaving you with questions about the current revenue... you know something is off. What do you do if you happen to come across something questionable? Your gut tells you something is wrong, but you feel you don't have enough knowledge or information to actually let anybody know it's happening.
Smarter business practices equal better results Compliance enforcement is intensifying around the world. Companies are implementing and reviewing whistleblower programs to ensure they comply with various anti-corruption acts - FCPA, UK Bribery Act, CFPOA. etc. They also want to ensure the long arms of fraud and abuse steer clear. Whether big or small, complying with global anti-corruption acts, or seeking a tool to better equip employees to report wrongdoing, every organization can benefit from implementing an ethics reporting program.
Seriously, who needs an ethics hotline? Ethics? That old chestnut? Really, it's just a thing that businesses need to adopt because 'everybody else is doing it'. A fad like Vogue (pose not magazine), this thing will run its course right? I mean who has time for all the [third-party does everything for you] work that comes with setting up an ethics hotline? Checking off that "we've got a thing called ethics" checkbox... we're so cool... Seriously, all that hype about companies who don't have hotlines and anti-fraud controls that suffer twice as much loss compared to those that do have controls in place (you can read the hype here). ~Rolling eyes~ Puleeze!
And what makes it different from in internally operated call center? When a company has implemented an ethics and fraud intake hotline, often times it's the person on the other end of a hotline number that is the only contact point for the caller. Not only does the person on the other end of the phone represent the company that's implemented the program, they also represent the the program itself. Because of the nature of what the call center is for - handling incoming complaints that can range from common theft all the way up to very serious allegations of fraud and harassment - we've decided to discuss what a successful hotline looks like and compare an outsourced third-party call center to an in-house company run number.
Don't Make These Mistakes When Setting up an Ethics Hotline! Many companies set up an ethics hotline to comply with a regulatory body or to put a check mark beside a list of regulatory requirements they need to adhere to. While a hotline is an important tool in your overall ethics and compliance program, you need to make sure you are choosing the right solution for your organization. So here's a few blunders you want to avoid.