Imagine having things going on in your company that are wasting money, lowering employee productivity, and that could even get you into legal trouble, andno one is alerting you about it! Whistleblowing is a simple practice that can combat this issue, and it is important to encourage it in your company to participate. While many companies overlook its importance, whistleblowing can help keep your company afloat, as well as prevent cases of employee retaliation. The benefits, however, are often overshadowed by the misunderstandings of how whistleblowing actually works.
To start, the biggest concern people naturally have regarding whistleblowing is, ironically, the fear of employee retaliation. Of course, no one wants to be called a “snitch”, and no one wants to be hated by the other employees. However, with a well-operating whistleblowing system, these situations are actually less likely to happen. Whistleblowing, when done correctly, can prevent these problems before they start.
Companies need to have several things in placeto have an effective whistleblowing program. The most important step is the employees trusting the system. Managers and leaders need to inspire an environment of openness and honesty between employees and their supervisors. Supervisors need to inspire the employees to adhere to the ethics of the company and that everyone is to be held accountable for performing well under these ethics. There needs to be serious training in place to familiarize everyone to the process. Employees also must be made aware that they are protected from retaliation by law and there is nothing to fear.
Not only that, but employee retaliation cases happen more often in companies where whistleblowing is not encouraged. The basic reason is that, instead of following the process and reporting the problem to the appropriate person, employees take their problems to someone else. Sometimes, when things go wrong, an employee may even report the problem to the media or some other outside agency. Whistleblowing trainingis important for employees and managers in your company, so they know the proper procedures for reporting problems. In reality, going taking issues to the media or outside agencies will make things worse for everyone involved. Employees should bring the problem to the attention of a specified authority inside your company to keep the problem contained and less likely to explode into a mess.
Once these steps have been taken, your company will be in a safer position long term and people will be protected from needless lawsuits. When everything is handled correctly, and employees run ethical, legal, and productivity problems through the proper channels, the company will run smoother than before.
To put it all in perspective, when a company has a well running whistleblowing program, the chances of employee retaliation are mitigated, the company has less financial risk, and the problems that are holding back the company from its ethical and performance standards are efficiently addressed.
Whistleblowing is like adding oil to the gear wheels of your companywhen handled correctly. Adopting this practice can increase your company’s productivity and keep everyone in line. It is highly encouraged that you incorporate this practice in your own company.