Reluctance to Listen Can Kill a Company’s Reputation and Workplace Culture

If there is wrongdoing happening inside your organization, there are people who know it's happening. But one of the biggest ways to sabotage your culture and reputation is to dismiss reported concerns as unimportant or have a poor hotline process for receiving complaints. Saboteurs can come in many forms, the biggest threats being human created. Therefore, it’s no wonder that the biggest workplace reputation and culture killer is when management doesn’t take a speak-up culture seriously.

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging the Company’s Reputation and Workplace Culture

Not Being Concerned Enough About Helpline Quality

One of the biggest obstacles to ethics helpline adoption is when management ignores any frustrations employees have trying to file reports. This can drain employee trust in management and push them to not speaking-up at all.

Cursory Incident Intake

If you’re not concerned about the quality of the report received and information provided, you won’t get very far resolving any pressing issues. This can increase the duration of potentially destructive issues happening for longer and doing more damage.

Promoting a Helpline Isn’t Important

Just because you have an ethics helpline, doesn’t mean your employees know it’s there, or how to use it. They may not even consider how important it actually is. Promoting the program fills that gap and ensures your stakeholders know about your program and how they play a part in it.

Fear of Retaliation

Employees are not necessarily going to trust in a no-retaliation process when speaking up. Employees may not be willing to take any chances. When employees feel safe to report misconduct, it sends a clear message that management is interested in having easy, or tough conversations and hearing what employees have to say.

Having a Helpline Is Enough to Show You Care

You can’t just provide the helpline then walk away and assume employees will be happy even if they don’t see any results. The most important thing you can do is continue to communicate with employees, keeping them informed on the status of the case and close the loop by letting them know about any final outcome of the reported issue.

Your Biggest Fear Is Actually Getting a Report

Quickly clearing out your incident queue as if it was a to-do list isn’t going to make misconduct magically disappear. By taking the time to investigate complaints leadership can leverage insight it gets from its program to determine where in its organization chronic issues or hotspots have cropped up.

We’ll Get the Cheapest Software and Call It a Day

Again, crossing off that to-do list at a minimum isn’t going to help the company build a culture of trust. It’s true that you get what you pay for. Eliminating important components to a reporting hotline will mean not only lack of employee engagement, but also serious deficiency in quality reports.

7 (Bonus) Ways to Avoid Reputation Sabotage

Promote a Speak-up Culture

Make a sincere, management-wide commitment to promoting a speak up culture across your entire workplace. Explain your intentions to your employees.

Promote Transparency and Accountability

Show employees how you’d like them to use your helpline to promote transparency and accountability in the workplace.

Use Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics can uncover where you may have chronic issues, trends, or hot spots that warrant remediation of some underlying root cause.

Don’t Ignore Any Complaint

Let employees know when you’ve acted on an incident report. Put processes in place to validate any allegations made by employees so that no one becomes the victim of a false charge.

Versatile Reporting Capabilities

Make sure everyone can report incidents in their native language. Continually review your helpline usage and results to learn where there’s room for improvement.

Anonymity Is Key

Make sure employees know their identity will always be protected and that they never have to fear retaliation of any kind for speaking up and reporting an incident.

Grant Access to Everyone

Extend your helpline to contractors and other stakeholders where appropriate. Fully customize your helpline interface so it aligns with your industry, your organizational structure, and your objectives.

Stay connected with our latest content!

Additional Resources

stockphoto close up of paper on pole with words good news is coming

7 Steps to Communicating a Whistleblower Hotline

If you have a whistleblower hotline, you want to make sure that all your stakeholders know that it exists, and that they understand how and when they can and should use it. Your intentions are only as good as your employees understanding and accepting of them.

Download eBook
stockphoto person walking tightrope over canyon

5 Ways to Enhance GRC and Minimize Risk

Every organization is responsible for putting the proper governance, risk, and compliance measures in place to ensure the business can successfully manage compliance with regulations and internal policies. In order to address these needs, businesses require proper risk management, document management, audit management, reporting, and analytical measures that can guarantee effective GRC exists company-wide.

Read More
stockphoto woman at desk with windows behind

9 Tips to Handle Whistleblower Complaints

It’s in a company’s best interest to encourage their employees to come forward and report perceived wrongdoing internally. It’s important that companies investigate all allegations quickly and thoroughly.

Learn More

Follow Us