Are consumer businesses thinking about a policy which empowers employees to operate transparently? Our research suggests not

15 June 2018

Only 50 per cent of consumer organisations reported having a whistleblowing hotline in place. 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.

Whilst many people immediately think fraud or bribery when talking about whistleblowing, it can also play a critical role in providing employees with a safe way to report grievances with working conditions or pay for example reporting on the National Minimum Wage.

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 listen to their grievances, then you can often resolve problems prior to external action being taken by a disgruntled employee, such as making a report to HMRC.

Having a whistleblowing hotline or policy in isolation is not enough. 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 doesn’t happen overnight. 

For more best practice tips download the beyond the balance sheet guide by filling in the form below.