Building a positive, safe and happy corporate culture takes work. One big step is to build trust with your employees. A culture where employees feel comfortable and committed to making the company a great place to work. This would include a channel to report feedback and issues freely; however, there are challenges that can make participation limited or even non-existent. Let's look at some examples as to why employees might be limited in what they report or might keep silent:
Some employees may wish to report without being identified – anonymous reporting is required
Many employees are afraid of retaliation, or even loss of their job
Employees can feel that their report may not be received well or that no action will be taken
Employees may be afraid that co-workers will view them as “snitches”
When employees trust and they feel safe, they will be more open and honest. They will be more inclined to share their thoughts and experiences in the hopes of building a better corporate culture and workplace. If they have the choice to do this anonymously, they will be more likely to reach out and report incidents that they have experienced or observed.
We recommend a few steps to consider in your workplace strategy.
Step 1: Make sure you have an anonymous reporting mechanism
HR should start with awareness campaigns to help employees learn about the reporting and how employees can use anonymous reporting tools to ask for help or share concerns. The company needs to help employees learn about the reporting process and help them to understand it is safe and secure to use. Show them the company will follow up on their reports. Encourage reporting, which can be done anonymously if preferred.
Step 2: Show how your system handles confidential and anonymous reported information
Prepare an easy to understand brochure to explain your process. For example, the reporting tools do not track or store employee personal information. It does not store a reporter's location or IP.
Step 3: Investigating an incident through anonymous platform
Reported incidents will require follow-up. If an employee prefers to not disclose their contact information, a platform that allows the reporter and investigator to easily communicate is essential.
Step 4: Limit or opt-out management access
The system should limit access to the appropriate people only…. such as designated case manager(s) and/or senior managers where/when necessary. You may also want to provide employees with the option to opt-out/remove a case manager who they feel may have a conflict in this case. Providing this level of control allows employees to feel safe and allows them to be truthful and candid in their reporting.
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Anonymous reporting gives employees a chance to speak up. It is easier to be truthful and candid about a situation through anonymous reporting. Employees can even feel comfortable speaking up regarding their dissatisfaction about the Company. With anonymous tools, they can feel safe from retaliation and without fear of losing their job.
An anonymous platform allows employees to speak freely and actively participate in the road to a positive corporate culture.
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How can we help
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.