Why Do Companies Continue to Pass Over Whistleblowing?

And the Survey Says… ?
The survey says that many multinational companies in the US, UK, Hong Kong, Germany and France are giving whistleblowing programs the cold shoulder, just not doing enough to encourage whistleblowing within their own four walls.
International law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, conducted a survey of 2500 employees in the above mentioned countries, and half of these employees said their companies do not have, or just don’t make visible, any whistleblower policy or whistleblower hotline.
Less than one in 10 said it’s an important issue at their company.
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So here’s what the survey found:
– 12% of employees have blown the whistle
– 46% would consider blowing the whistle
– 7% say whistleblowing is currently an important issue for their organization
– 44% say their companies either don’t have a whistleblowing policy or fail to publicise it if there is one
A source from the law firm said that “despite a recent spate of high-profile whistleblowers and an increase in the number of instances leading to global investigations and fines, companies are ill-prepared to deal with concerns raised by their employees.”
Click here to view an infographic from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on their survey findings
As we’ve highlighted in many of our posts, whistleblower tips are one of the most effective ways to uncover fraud and bribery. But still, organizations just don’t get it. Or maybe they think that to implement such a program is way more tedious than watching “Aunt Edna’s” latest vacation pictures and pretending to enjoy them (there’s no denying it, we all have an “Aunt Edna”).
Here’s what the survey also revealed:
– the majority of respondents (64%) would report a colleague if they suspected them of committing a criminal offence;
– more than a quarter (26%) said they would go straight to a regulator if the wrongdoing wasn’t handled properly by their company; and
– more than one in five (21.5%) said they thought the average employee would expect managers to treat whistleblowers less favourably
The last point is kind of troubling, as there seems to be an accepted understanding that being a whistleblower will merit ill-treatment from your manager. Unfortunately in some cases this has been true.
At WhistleBlower Security, we work really hard with our clients to help grow their culture of transparency. Whistleblowers help organizations address wrongdoing before outside investigators learn of it. The reality is, this can save that organizations a lot of money in fines and violations, not to mention legal fees and protection of the brand.
Robust whistleblowing policies can bolster an organization’s argument that it has implemented adequate procedures to guard against bribery. They also make it more likely that concerns will be raised internally. Boards need to help create a culture where employees are not only protected but genuinely encouraged to come forward with information about wrongdoing.

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