As the title may suggest, this is actually not meant to sound completely crazy. In fact the opposite is true. You want your employees to be whistleblowers. Yes you do, trust us! Why? Because they're the people who see things happen!
Why are some companies so reluctant to change from one vendor to another? Especially when the existing vendor makes a company feel nothing but frustration? The biggest culprit is likely fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the work involved in moving from one vendor to another. Fear of 'what if we made the wrong decision'? But in the back of your mind, and in the interest of the company, you are coming to the conclusion that your organization needs to start looking for a better alternative to manage your ethics hotline. But that ol' fear kicks in!
Employee fraud is expensive. Whistleblower hotlines are not. You might think that when it comes to fighting fraud in the workplace, that the best methods are too expensive, too high-tech, or too complicated. Turns out, the best way to fight fraud actually starts with a tip.
We recently published an article in National Defense Magazine called "Whistleblower Hotlines: A Valuable Tool". An effective ethics reporting tool, implemented as part of an ethics and compliance program, can not only help an organization detect and resolve potential misconduct issues, but it can also help support a culture of integrity and responsibility within the workplace. Misconduct in the workplace can be devastating. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ “2016 Report to the Nations” estimates that, on average, organizations lose 5 percent of revenue per year due to fraud and other misconduct. Many organizations have implemented active and deliberate misconduct-detection processes. “Active” means that a person, or an internal control method, has been put in place and is instrumental in looking for fraud and other misconduct. Compare that to “passive” detection, in which the organization learns of unethical activity only after the fact or by accident.
Considering implementing a whistleblower hotline? Effective compliance programs should have an ethics reporting hotline. It's an effective means of communication between employees and management, allowing employees to bring forward ethical concerns to the company rather than reporting externally to media, or other agencies. A recent article explains that confidence in using a reporting hotline is a result of both the employee and company not being known to each other.
Every post you see regarding ethics hotlines or whistleblower hotlines, revolves around setting up processes in place to allow employees to anonymously report on wrongdoing in the company. We see reports of securities violations, bullying and harassment, occupational fraud and abuse, money laundering... the list goes on. Many organizations have adopted hotlines to allow employees and stakeholders to report on these instances of misconduct.