You just received a whistleblower report... now what do you do? The best course of action is to act on it as soon as possible. The worst thing you can do is ignore the fact that an employee came forward to report on an alleged wrongdoing in the company.
"Tone at the top refers to the ethical atmosphere that is created in the workplace by the organization's leadership." "Whatever tone management sets will have a trickle-down effect on employees of the company. If the tone set by managers upholds ethics and integrity, employees will be more inclined to uphold those same values."
Anonymous employee tips are a critical ingredient of detecting workplace fraud and other wrongdoing. Promoting a speak-up culture in the workplace where employees can bring forward any ethics and compliance concerns creates a significant advantage for an organization.
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.
Many companies struggle to understand the benefits of implementing a whistleblower hotline. Not to mention, one more piece of technology that an IT team has to manage. But here are a few interesting facts that anyone can take to their management teams that support the decision of implementing a whistleblower hotline.