Your employees are not sure how to reach out to report misconduct after your whistleblowing programme was launched 47 months ago. Does this sound familiar to you?
If this is true, it is time to review your communication plan. How often do you communicate? What kind of information are you sharing with the employees?
If you are not satisfied with the result. Start over. Put a communication plan in place. Set up objectives and action plans. You have to think like a marketer, you are going to reach out to your employees with the right message.
Let's start with a goal.
When you design your marketing campaign, do you have a goal in mind? Clearly, you want your employees to be aware of the whistleblowing programme. You want them to use it when there is a need to report wrongdoing. Before you continue, do you know who are your employees?
Know your audiences - learn about their background.
There are many types of information about your audiences. One is to learn about your employees’ working pattern. Are they located in a few main offices or work remotely? This is because you want to find out how to distribute information with them. Do they have access to internet during most of their working hours? Let’s review this by using two different examples:
Company A – a mining company in Africa.
90% of the staff are “miners”. They work on the mining site most of the time and only 10% of the staff are sales, office administration and management. We need to understand the miners will not have internet access. They have access to mining premises. When marketing to them – you will need to consider printing hardcopies of the marketing materials. A name card size with a few words, method to report a concern is a good idea. Organise campaigns to share interesting topics that reminds them about the programme.
Company B – an international law firm that has offices in everywhere.
We would assume 100% of staff have access to internet. Where sending marketing information to them via email won’t be an issue. It makes your life easy to continue updating them.
The table below gives you some idea - knowing your employees’ working pattern helps you to determine which type of communication channel is effective for them.
|Work pattern||Organisation examples||Marketing option|
|Travelers/ work remotely||Sales, trading||Email marketing.|
|Work outside of office area||Mining, shipping, logistic, blue collar, labs||Hardcopy brochure. Labels. Name card size copy.|
|Centralised in a few main offices||White collars, office staff.||Email marketing, on-site promotion event.|
What to communicate?
No matter what you are going to communicate – remember to put your employees first. Position your message to their best interest. A catchy headline will also help them to start looking at your message.
Imagine someone is trying to sell you a fitness programme. He shared with you how cool the gym facilities are and how experienced the training class instructors are (and with complementary coffees and towels). You wonder – why does this matter to you and why bother to sign up?
What if the salesperson approaches you with a question “how do you stay healthy and fit?” – there you will have a conversation about your thoughts of staying fit or you might even share the challenge of you staying fit. Then, the salesperson can start talking about the solution such as fitness program to assist you staying fit, with the gym facilities and training classes.
Let’s review. The first salesperson talks about features. The second wanted to understand your problem, and then offer you a solution that might possibly help you solve your problem. It ended with features to boost your trust on his product.
When marketing whistleblowing programme – you want to start with a “problem”. Then follow with “methods to get help”. Lastly, promote “how do you support your employee” or “features”.
How often to communicate?
Communication about the whistleblowing programme is not a one-time effort. You don’t stop after you start your first communication. When designing the communication plan, set up a communication plan with a timeline. You broadcast your message periodically. The process is like reminding your child about hand-washing. You repeat the message with different scenarios. Wash before eating. Wash after eating. So as to reduce chances of germs spreading through.
In your communication plan, define clearly the objectives of the message. Set up KPIs and track result. This is one way to find out how you are doing when compared with the previous communication. You can find out what went wrong. You can try a different approach to improve the result. Do A/B test.
Below is a high level example about quarterly communication plan.
|Quarter||Objectives||Channels||KPIs (if applicable)|
|Q1||Introduce new whistleblowing programme||Email campaign||Email click rate >5%|
|Intranet||Page visit >50% at 1st week|
|Distribute name card size material to all workers|
|Face-to-face team meeting||Attendance rate > 80%|
|Q2||Share whistleblowing KPIs & Case studies||Email campaign||Email click rate >5%|
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About The Red Flag Group®
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.