The Truth Behind 7 Of The Biggest Whistleblowing Myths
So, you've just about decided that it's the right time to install a whistleblowing hotline with Safecall (we know you won't regret it), but there's still a few niggling doubts: what if the service isn't necessary, or is misused? Do you really suspect anyone would behave badly enough to warrant reporting? They're all fair and reasonable questions, and it's your duty as an owner or manager to ask them before implementing new processes.
We've set about addressing some of the biggest myths and misconceptions around whistleblowing hotlines to help you make up your mind and establish a whistleblowing hotline with confidence.
I run a small company with a good culture, I'd be told of any wrongdoing
No matter how good your culture is, personal relationships and office politics/hierarchies can have an effect on reporting.
For example, if one of the sales team believes that the highest achieving member of their department is actually massaging the truth, would they feel entirely able to voice concerns to their line manager without being shot down or accused of belittling a better performing colleague?
Worries about individual biases and the personal ramifications of raising an issue will prevail in any workplace, it's just human nature. Providing a dedicated, impartial whistleblowing hotline removes these concerns, and actually giving your already open culture a boost with an extra level of support.
A hotline stops employees reporting to managers and superiors
As we've mentioned earlier, there can be circumstances where reporting to line managers and superiors does not feel viable. That does not mean that every situation is the same, and part of having a robust whistleblowing process is to ensure that an internal complaints procedure remains an option.
More importantly though, it ensures that reporting upwards within the business is not the only option available to those who feel the need to make a disclosure that could prevent damage to the business or the public.
My staff would start reporting trivial matters
Concerns about staff abusing a whistleblowing hotline have proven to be unfounded in the vast majority of cases. Most people immediately recognise that this is a measure to be taken seriously, and only used under grave circumstances.
If you feel that your employees need a little extra education on whistleblowing procedures, and the role of the whistleblowing hotline, then Safecall also offers eLearning and classroom-based training for staff at all levels.
My company simply doesn't need a whistleblowing hotline
There's a school of thought that suggests that having never experienced an issue means it will never be a problem. We would argue that such a view is short sighted, as you can never fully anticipate how people will respond to the circumstances they find themselves in. And If you haven't previously had a reporting system in place then you may be surprised at how much you learn.
Providing your employees with a whistleblowing hotline is an easy and effective way to future-proof your business.
A hotline will lead to paranoia and negativity
It's easy to see why some people may think this, even though it's actually a fairly negative and paranoid view in itself. In reality though, a whistleblowing helpline is there to help staff to feel more comfortable and secure.
Many people are still concerned that blowing the whistle will affect them personally, but implementing a whistleblowing hotline shows that you encourage positive action, seek to build a more open culture, and support those who make important disclosures.
It wouldn't work in my industry
Why not? The fact is that no industry is completely insulated from the actions of bad apples. Charities, religious organisations, education bodies, NGOs; any and all businesses can fall victim to fraud and workplace misconduct. By putting a whistleblowing hotline in place now you guarantee that you can meet and resolve any such issues head on.
I can't afford to install a whistleblowing hotline
This statement is false in two ways. Firstly, Safecall's whistleblowing hotline service is built to be affordable for businesses of all sizes. You can find out more by talking to us today.
Secondly, can you really afford not to implement a whistleblowing hotline? A whistleblowing hotline will provide protection against wrongdoing within your company, as well as giving employees an way to raise concerns that could have a grave effect on your business and the public.
Forget the myths and misconceptions, a whistleblowing hotline from Safecall is an important part of keeping your business healthy and your staff happy.
Originally published 29 April, 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.