Ethics Helplines – Intake is Everything

Bad Intake Undermines Everything That Follows

You have one shot at getting the truth! When it comes to employee whistleblower helplines and feedback systems, intake is absolutely pivotal. The quality of the intake will dictate the outcome of your workplace culture. Most misconduct is discovered through whistleblowing tips. And oftentimes, your employees are closest to the action and the most important information. Capturing that misconduct thoroughly and accurately enables you to put a stop to it sooner.

Chronically Bad Intake Adversely Impacts Culture
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
Intake Is Your One Shot at Getting the Whole Truth
Over the course of an 11-year PwC study, companies with the best corporate cultures outperformed companies without a thriving culture by a factor of 5.87 to 1.
Bad Helpline Experience Discourages People From Reporting Again
82% of companies struggle with system adoption. Better intake experiences are one antidote to Low Adoption Disorder.

Bad Intake ➔ Insufficient Information

Don’t place the burden of intake delivery on your employees – they don’t always know exactly what it is you need to know in order to conduct a meaningful investigation. When employees step outside the boundaries of their normal, everyday workplace behaviour to report misconduct, that very action indicates that something needs fixing now or you’ll suffer the consequences later.

Intake is information! Make intake quality a priority and help employees capture the truth of their story. Information capture should be well crafted and effective to ensure employees don’t leave significant information behind, or have it lost in translation.

Bad Intake ➔ Negative Attitudes

Don’t shortchange the intake experience for employees. Disappointing encounters can cast a negative shadow over everything else that follows. Intake is more than just ensuring you get all the information you need. If employees use an online reporting tool, or call into a helpline, personal experiences matter! Don’t dismiss their negative intake experiences, because negative attitudes towards your company will only follow.

Bad call centre experiences usually mean expectations of good service from companies are very low. Attentive and empathetic intake specialists mean a positive experience for employees. And a thoughtfully constructed web form that doesn’t look thrown together shows sincere effort by management to ensure operational and ethical transparency. Either way employees get a prompt and accurate experience, will very likely report again if needed, and skepticism towards management’s good intentions go away.

Bad Intake ➔ Culture Fail

When you’re serious about whistleblowing, you’re serious about culture. Intake is a primary and explicit employee touchpoint for cultural transformation. If management is serious about ethics and attitude, workplace culture follows. Bad intake experiences are like a cultural contagion. Employee A tells Employee B that the helpline is just for show. Employee B then shares that belief with Employee C, and so on until the entire workplace is a non-participant in building a winning culture.

Helplines are about more than just alerting management to individual, isolated problems that need solving. They are about systemically mitigating business risk, and cultivating a positive, transparent workplace culture that actually moves the needle on everything from employee engagement to the retention of star performers. If you’re not actively working for culture change, you’re actively working against it.

Good Intake Supports a Collaborative and Inclusive Workplace Culture

The quality of your intake can mean learning about meaningful information that can be used as a catalyst for improving your workplace culture, or not knowing about a serious issue that can harm the organization. If you get intake right, the quality of information you receive will lead to positive workplace attitudes and that will help drive a workplace culture win!

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