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.
The following are some simple steps to take if you are unsure about what to do once you do receive a whistleblower report.
Check out the case!
You know the saying about being blissfully unaware about all the bad stuff going on. Well whatever has been reported isn't going to go away by itself. And don't procrastinate about reading any details either. It's like ripping a band-aid off really quickly. Just open the case and become knowledgeable about the issue being reported, bad or not so bad.
Thank the reporter
It's so very important to thank the reporter for coming forward. Too many times employees won't come forward because they believe nothing will be done about their concern, or the company won't take it seriously. Thanking them shows the reporter their message has been received. By thanking them, the company sends a positive message that employees and their concerns matter!
Take the report seriously
Of course after thanking the reporter, don't ignore the report. They came forward to begin with because they truly believe there is information the company needs to know about. Even if the company feels like the report may be a false alarm, taking it seriously from the beginning opens up the avenue for speaking up confidently about situations that are weighing on employee's shoulders. You never know - there may be a time when that seemingly small matter actually turns out to be something way bigger and more detrimental to the company.
Assign a person, or team to start investigating
It's time to let your investigative person, or team, start investigating the report. To reiterate, take the report seriously. Ask questions. Look at all the information provided in order to allow a thorough investigation of the reported matter. Determine the incident's credibility.
Log the investigation process
Investigating is all about making notes, finding new evidence, and talking with people. Log all information that is collected during the investigation and keep it stored in your case management system. This way, no information is lost and it is easily accessible in the future.
Final update with the Reporter
Don't leave the Reporter hanging! Get them updated the investigation's conclusion.
Once you've closed the case and decided on any next steps, which might include documenting new procedures or disciplinary action, let the Reporter know what the end result is. Even if their report turned out to be a false alarm, let the Reporter know you did take the time to investigate their concern. The more you ensure employees feel empowered to come forward with concerns, valid or not, the more employee, and company, morale grows.
Contact us to learn more about how a case management system can help you investigate and organize your whistleblower reports.