In the modern world, there have been some truly scandalous moments in business. You’ve heard of just about every major corrupt example, ranging from false product schemes, pyramid schemes, insider trading and downright lying to the public and investors, defrauding millions of dollars. This is something that many regulators have been shaken by and it’s little wonder that whistleblowing policies are now becoming mandatory in some industries. It’s particularly open in the financial sector, as every bank and major financial institution has to have a process that allows anyone from within to leak information of corruption. But this is something every business should have. Do you?
Whistleblowing policies, HR or BA?
So, is a whistleblowing issue, something for human resources or for business administration? Both departments have a part to play. The HR team should allow employees to feel comfortable and protected, about disclosing information about dubious business practices or employee behavior. However, it’s usually business admins that will be looking up the leaks and seeing if they are actually true. The issue is, who do you report to first?
Some say that HR gives employees an outlet to be more honest because admins do a lot of jobs that are close to the executive team. While some say, going straight to the admin team could result in quicker resolutions of the issues at hand. Your firm needs to determine which communication method will be most effective, and perhaps implement that internal communication best practice that your team in totality agrees upon.
Outlets for leaking
You don’t want employees to feel like they have no outlet to leak information within the business because they will just leak to the media. Using a temp mail service is a great way to give employees a secret and confidential outlet to upload documents completely anonymously to your servers. It will only last for a brief window of time and you won’t know who sent a message to you if they don’t write their names in the email. It’s also going to mean, sensitive documents cannot be hacked as they would or could be on your regular email service.
Another outlet is just an anonymous paper tray which you can keep in your office. If anyone would like to share something with you that they don’t feel comfortable doing in person, leaving a document in this paper tray can be liberating.
Not every ‘leak’ is going to bring the house down. Sometimes, it’s just an employee giving your information about another employee’s wrongful behavior, such as talking about sensitive inside information on your products and services in development, with a competitor.
So the follow-up process has to be done well. Assign an employee in the admin department or the audit department to chase up the claims. Gather as much data and truth as you can and assess the situation. Only act when you have a unanimous agreement with the rest of the executive team.
whistleblowing is a serious process in any business and it takes guts for employees to take the first step. Giving them an outlet can seriously help them to protect your business from bad actors within it.