Is it a good sign if you have an employee hotline but the reporting rate is low?
The reasons that the reporting rate is low is probably because:
Employees do not want to speak up - because they are too afraid to;
Employees do not care to speak up - because they gave up;
Employees do not know how to reach out;
Your company culture is wonderful, and everyone is behaving ethically - this is what we hope for the most.
What happens if this is not the case and people are behaving unethically?
You are going to miss the opportunity of reviewing employees concerns and detecting potential misconducts. The impact of losing the ability to detect can put your company at risk. It can destroy your company’s brand name, growth and profit.
Here are two directions that you can take to rebuild your hotline and help your employees stay engaged with you.
1. Make it safer to report — increase the employees’ likeliness to report
All employees want their employer to hear from them. One of the reason employees don’t want to speak to you is because they are afraid to speak up. Even if you have a retaliation policy to protect them, is it enough to guarantee their protection?
On the other hand, employees believe HR or the company is spying on them. Employees also try to keep their personal and friends’ feed private, so they could avoid their employer (e.g. managers) spying on them.
As you can see, employees are cautious about privacy and confidentiality.
This is a sign that we should make a reporting tool that guarantees their protection by — allowing them to report anonymous. This makes employees feel safe when reporting.
The Red Flag Group® has shared a research about importance of anonymity to the employees. “Employees are 70% more likely to report if anonymity is guaranteed.”
2. End-to-end feedback — employees are more likely to share with you in the future if you provide feedback from the beginning of receiving case until the case closure.
Two-way feedback is the foundation of bonding an employer and its employees. The communication about the case is not just sharing the case status. When the situation is allowed, consider these suggestions to improve your feedback communications:
Upon receiving report, share a full picture for what you are going to do with the case. Sharing the idea will help the reporter to understand that you care about their report. This makes employees more likely to share with you in the future.
Document your communication dialog on one single platform. We learned a complex case require different stakeholders to work together. Keeping your investigation logs and communication dialogues with the reporter on the same platform is crucial. It will help your team deliver a consistent message to the reporter.
Notify case participants — have a handy tool to inform your allegation subject, witness or victim about the case progress.
Closure — Always share with the reporter the actions you are going to take or actions you have taken. By giving a case closing update, the reporter will appreciate and look forward to believing in your leadership and grow together with the company.
What if you need to follow up anonymous reports when you don’t know how to contact the reporter?
With IntegraCall®, it is not only we can ensure absolute anonymity. Employer can also connect with the reporter via anonymous communication platform. This give empower your team to communicate with anonymous reporter. Get a demo and learn how.
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.