Anonymous workplace reporting is where employees or any other stakeholders of a business or organization notify the relevant person in that organization of unethical or illegal conduct, without fear of recrimination.
Allowing employees and other individuals to report misconduct or make general suggestions anonymously has a multitude of benefits. These include but are not limited to:
For example, if an employee feels that they are being bullied, harassed or otherwise mistreated by their line manager, but are afraid to speak up in case their career chances are affected as a result, they can choose to notify the authorized person within their company or organization anonymously and the matter can then be dealt with.
Alternatively, if an employee notices an inefficiency in one of their work processes, but does not feel like they have the requisite authority to point it out, they can do so anonymously, potentially saving their company money and/or time.
There are several ways to implement an anonymous reporting channel in your organization. The most common forms this takes are:
When implementing an anonymous reporting tool, it is important to communicate it properly to your employees and offer training in using it. This fosters familiarity and comfort with the system and increases uptake and use.
The experience of company Vitkovice Steel, represents an interesting case study since they noticed that the implementation of an anonymous reporting channel actually led to the percentage of anonymous reports decreasing over time. To begin with, 70% of reports were under the cover of anonymity, eventually going down to 30%, bearing out the improvement in the workplace culture.
Another client, the Brno Municipal Office, found that the introduction of an anonymous whistleblowing platform led to the discovery of instances of bullying by a particular individual who was subsequently removed from the company. They then noticed an increase in productivity after this individual had left.
Overall, it is clear that introducing an anonymous reporting channel in your organization is hugely beneficial in ensuring that employers and anyone else who interacts with your company has the means to report suspicions of wrongdoing or offer up suggestions for improvement, without fear of retribution or embarrassment.
Clearly, there are challenges in implementing such a channel, notably in raising awareness of its existence, helping people learn to use it, and ensuring that they continue to use it on a regular basis.
However, these challenges can and must be overcome in order to create a safe, secure, open workplace where employees feel valued and empowered to speak up.
Whistleblowing - just a bureaucracy or an opportunity for your company?
Try FaceUp - A customisable whistleblowing system that's trusted by 3,000 companies and schools worldwide.