Whistleblowing: 5 Measures Companies can take to Decrease the fear of Retaliation
It is no secret that employees who blow the whistle on wrongdoings are often subjected to horrendous retaliation. This ranges from ostracism, intimidation, dismissal, to harassment and more. Despite the existence of the whistleblowing system, retaliation often causes employees to be reluctant to report important issues and this would lead to a greater loss for the company as the wrongdoings would remain undetected.
However, a survey by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) (2007) titled National Business Ethics Surveyfound that the presence of a strong and ethical corporate culture can dramatically reduce corporate misconduct and increase the likelihood of reporting.
According to Dr. Purnimal Sehgal on his paper titled Can Whistleblowers live ‘Happily Ever After?’ a Review of Literature on Whistleblowing and its Implication, the development of a strong, ethical, corporate culture depends heavily on communication, commitment, and leadership.
There are several measures a company can take on their whistleblowing policy to decrease the fear of retaliation. Imposing these measures would also convey that your company is committed to building a strong and ethical culture, these methods are shown below:
- Provide a wide choice of reporting channels, such as telephone, email, mail, and text message, for a user-friendly experience.
- Anonymity option. The anonymous reporting option enhancesthe effectiveness of the whistleblowing by giving a sense of safety to the whistleblowers.
- Prompt response. To encourage employees to report, companiesshould ensure that they investigate the reports fairly and give prompt updates to the whistleblower.
- Promotion of the whistleblowing policy. This can be done by providing written policies, providing training to employees and educating the employees through internal newsletters.
- Support. It is critical that the leaders in the company clearly declare that they support the whistleblowing system and condemn frauds and the act of retaliations.
To implement the above-mentioned measures, your company needs a third-party ethics hotline provider that enables safe, secure, and anonymous reporting.
Integrity Indonesia, through the Canary® WBS provides clients with various user-friendly and secure reporting channels. Our well-trained staff and experienced analysts moderate and carefully review incoming reports and ensure the confidentiality of the whistleblowers (if requested). Clients also have access to their dashboard, which allows them to follow up on the reviewed reports.
We are aware that effective communication is one of the keys to the success of the whistleblowing system. Therefore, we assist our clients in their education and communication of the whistleblowing system to their employees by providing designated training and media kits.
Contact us today for further information on the Canary® WBS.