If you already have a whistleblowing hotline for your employees – don’t skip this. Check out how this information can help your employees to understand about your whistleblowing hotline. What do they want to know about your hotline?
If you do not have a whistleblowing hotline yet or you are looking to renew – you are welcome to speak to us and see how IntegraCall® can help you to address the gaps you may have.
When we were introducing IntegraCall® | Secure compliance hotline, an anonymous whistleblowing platform to a group of employees, we found these are the questions the employees like to know the most about a whistleblowing hotline.
How can I report something?
Is your hotline anonymous?
How can I be sure it is anonymous?
Can I follow up my request?
Can I follow up my request if I have reported anonymously?
What should I provide in my report?
What can a whistleblower expect after a report was made? How long do I expect to hear from you? (Or should I expect to hear something back from you?)
How can I be protected from retaliation?
What will happen to the alleged subject?
Let's begin to review on some of the questions.
1. How to report?
The common methods that you have learnt about reporting a concern are probably to call a hotline, post a mail / send an e-mail to the General counsel / Compliance Officer/ HR. With IntegraCall®, employees, shareholders, suppliers or even customers of the company can report via Mobile App, Website, and phone call. If someone walks into your office, you can help them to create a report via IntegraCall® Case Manager.
TIPS: Disclose wrongdoing via a phone call is not typically a good idea if someone wants to report anonymously, quietly, privately. If you have a call centre, they are afraid someone can identify their voice. This is how a small medium company’s employee sees it. Reporting via mobile app gives the advantage to report on-the-go. IntegraCall® mobile app also gives the option to report and share digital evidence (photos, videos) on the fly. This makes reporting easy in the digital age.
2. HOW CAN WE KNOW IF YOUR WHISTLEBLOWING SYSTEM IS SECURE AND 100% ANONYMOUS THAT PROTECTS OUR IDENTITY?
IntegraCall® is designed and developed starting with the security fundamentals.
To ensure its anonymity to protect whistleblowers.
To empower case owners and investigators to have a secure and private chat with the reporter.
We will share reporter country and relationship because this is essential to help company to begin with the investigation. We do not share the whistleblower personal information, profile information, device information. All transactions are securely encrypted between the whistleblower end point and the whistleblowing platform. Click here to learn more how IntegraCall® protects whistleblower’s information.
3. CAN WE FOLLOW UP OUR REQUEST BUT NOT LETTING HR FIND OUT WHO WE ARE?
Yes. Employee can submit an anonymous report and able to follow up with HR. HR can also follow up anonymous reports via IntegraCall® platform. The idea with this platform, we use Case ID as a reference point where allows two parties (the whistleblower and the case manager) to discuss and follow up the investigation without the need of knowing the whistleblower’s identity.
Employer could also suggest the whistleblower to disclose themselves only when a need-to-know basis is required.
4. WHAT SHOULD BE REPORTED?
Misconduct and alleged activities that have breach regulations or laws should be reported. The following are the behavioral examples where a disclosure should be reported:
a breach of regulations or laws;
irregular financial activities;
bullying, victimisation, discrimination and harassment;
alleged breach or concern on workplace health and safety;
alleged of competitor interactions;
concern and alleged breach of business confidentiality;
disclosure of confidential information;
alleged corruption or bribery;
alleged conflicts of interest;
alleged fraud and corruption;
improper gifts & hospitality; and
5. WHAT CAN A WHISTLEBLOWER EXPECT AFTER A REPORT WAS MADE?
No question should be left unanswered. Respond if someone reported, regardless it is a simple or complex issue. We know for sure some whistleblowers want to hear from you after a report is submitted. Whistleblower typically wants to know what is going to happen with the report, some might even want to know if the information given is sufficient to help with the investigation.
We encourage employer to have some document about the entire process, especially a diagram to explain what are you going to get back to whistleblower, and how often you will be getting back to them.
From time to time - share important metric on your intranet. Share useful statistic such as
How many cases have received, and followed-up.
Keys take away from the company’s management.
Actions to follow from lesson learnt
By operating at this level, you are not just bonding trust. You also encourage more “watchers” in your organisation. It helps employees to stay aware about workplace integrity. It turns out you will be able to reduce misconduct when everyone is watching everyone’s back.
6. HOW CAN I BE PROTECTED FROM RETALIATION?
This is a common concern/question your employees will definitely ask!
From the policy/management perspective, you can set rules and policies to protect your employees. However, is this really enough? What if the top management override you and the company rules?
We do advise employer to leverage software that could help protecting whistleblower’s identity like what we mentioned on point 3. The software should only share ‘need-to-know’ information with the employer. That is how you limit the chances of retaliation. Employees also feel safe if they know it is the software doing most of the protection.
Get the right tool to protect your employees and reduce your team’s burden to managing cases.
IntegraCall® is the case management platform – not only with the ability to protect whistleblowers. It features with case assignment automation and flexibility to communicate with your employees anonymously. If you are here looking for a hotline solution but not sure what might fit. We are happy to answer to your questions, or even help you to build a whistleblowing policy. Talk to us.
The Red Flag Group® has many years’ experience in developing programmes related to workplace harassment as well as whistleblowing. We also provide hotline and training services to support the successful operation of your programmes.
If you wish to understand more about effective hotline and case management products, schedule a call with us.