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.
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