Only 19 per cent of consumer organisations reported having a whistleblowing hotline in place to combat money laundering and bribery. This leaves most workers, and their organisations vulnerable. If employees do not have a safe, and independent way of raising and escalating concerns, organisations run the risk of either a high-profile scandal, or risk damaging activity left unreported.
Both scenarios can have critical ramifications at an operational and reputational level. A poorly managed whistleblowing allegation can lead to a loss of shareholder investment, stakeholder confidence, poor staff retention, and ineffective recruitment.
A major part in understanding risk exposure to operations is listening to staff on the ground. If you take a workforce seriously and empower them with the knowledge and ability to recognise and report concerns – they can form a first line of defence against fraud and illegal activity.
It is not enough, however, to have a whistleblowing hotline or policy in isolation. Consumer organisations need to embed a culture of transparency, and honesty – to reinforce the messaging and culture on multiple platforms. This is critical to bring about a cultural change, and this doesn’t happen overnight.
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