Now is the perfect time to provide your staff with a dedicated whistleblowing hotline such as the one we at Safecall offer. With new regulations coming into force to strengthen the protection afforded to whistleblowers, also known as the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Safecall can help your staff report wrongdoing within your organisation. But, why should you and your SME need to worry about having a speak up hotline.
Balancing costs and budgets weighs heavily when you're establishing and running a small to medium enterprise (SME). You have to find products and services that match your needs, but don't want to add so much additional cost to address this need that you have to increase the cost of the service/product you are selling to your customers.
It's understandable that you may be reluctant to spend on a service that you think you can live without; why, for example, should you pre-emptively install a Speak-Up Hotline when you haven't had to deal with any malpractice?
The answer to that particular question isn't just that you can't afford to not have a method to report issues in place when malpractice hits, but that the return on investment for even small businesses means you really can't afford not to have a hotline.
The business case for whistleblowing services
According to official figures, the average company operating within the EU loses around 4.9-6.3% of revenue due to corruption (interestingly, the Rand Corporation believes the true figure to be higher, as you can see here), and that's not even taking reputational damage into account.
When your reputation takes a hit you are likely to see some immediate repercussions. In addition to any lost contracts or decrease in sales that can result from misconduct or criminal activity, it's likely that any planned business development and investment opportunities will also suffer. There's also a number of secondary costs that also add up, such as a loss of staff leading to further spend on recruitment and training.
The benefits of a Speak Up hotline for SMEs
Aside from the financials laid out above, low morale from a lack of quick and decisive action also often leads to decreased attendance and productivity. That's why a robust whistleblowing policy and hotline is of huge benefit when it comes to instilling a positive and transparent company culture.
Giving staff the opportunity and impetus to report wrongdoing creates a greater investment in the company, as they know their concerns are taken seriously and that they will be protected when acting conscientiously. This positive culture also extends outside of the organisation, reflecting well on you in the eyes of external publics such as customers and suppliers. Integrity is far more attractive than underhandedness, and can lead to greater opportunities for profit and growth.
Originally published 1st July 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.