How to accept concerns and embrace change before the whistle is blown
We all know that whistleblowing occurs when malpractice or systemic issues can no longer be excused or ignored by individual employees, but we should keep in mind that whistleblowing is often the last resort to force change, the end result of a series of frustrations and failed disclosures to those in the management team.
In a significant amount of cases, whistleblowers will have tried to address their issues with a member of the management team before escalating the matter through an external service such as the Safecall whistleblowing hotline. While our hotlines make it possible for whistleblowers to come forward safely, and with the knowledge that their disclosure will be reviewed thoroughly and fairly, businesses have so much to gain by listening to their employees from the offset.
Why you should listen to the change-makers
Just because a business is ticking over without incident, that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. In bigger businesses it is commonplace for an employee, often newly hired, to be given a specific remit for analysis and change. The idea of refuting their findings outright seems counter-intuitive, and yet we see it happen time and again, even in businesses as big as Google with the case of Ross LaJeunesse.
Some management teams appear to want a review to tell them that they are doing incredibly well, that there's no need for further action and everyone can have a pat on the back. In some extreme examples of this situation, employees who have forcibly raised the issue of change have been the subject of damaging targeted harassment. If an area for improvement has been identified, or if there is a disparity between company goals and the reality that can be addressed with well-defined actions, then this should be taken on board.
Businesses must adapt to survive, and such recommendations are most often made with an expert eye or the best interests of the company at heart, two traits that should be celebrated and properly encouraged with a supportive culture.
Support your team with a whistleblowing hotline
Every business and organisation should have a secure and robust whistleblowing process in place in the interests of transparency and safety (both for employees and the public), but that doesn't mean it should be used as a test for the necessity of change.
Instead, a whistleblowing hotline from Safecall forms part of a positive culture, demonstrating to staff that you are ready to accept change and weed out undesirable behaviour and practices for the betterment of the business.
Originally published 22 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.