An integrity line is a secure, anonymous medium through which employees or other stakeholders within an organization can report suspicions or instances of wrongdoing, usually anonymously. An integrity line can also be known as an ‘ethics line’, a ‘hotline’, and an ‘honesty line’. While traditionally this was a physical phone line that people could actually call up, these days most of this kind of whistleblowing is done via an online whistleblowing platform.
As the name implies, an integrity line is a clear way for an organization to show that they are committed to creating a workplace that is open and honest, where integrity is valued. By providing a clear communication channel for their employees to alert them to any kind of misconduct, as well as offering their own suggestions for how the company could improve, they are demonstrating their commitment to these principles.
An integrity line has a range of benefits for both the organization that chooses to implement it and the employees that ultimately end up using it.
Demonstrate your values
As mentioned above, an integrity line shows your employees you want them to feel empowered to speak up when something isn’t right.
Compliance with whistleblowing legislation
In the EU, it is now the law that any organization with more than 50 employees must have a whistleblowing channel such as an integrity line. It is a similar story in other countries and regions around the world.
Save money lost to fraud and theft
On average, 5% of a company’s annual revenue is lost to fraud, yet 3 times as many instances of fraud are unearthed via an integrity line than through traditional, expensive audits.
Reduce staff turnover and the associated costs
Did you know that 18% of employees leave their job due to a negative atmosphere in the workplace? On average, it costs the equivalent of 6 months’ salary to replace a disillusioned employee. An integrity line can help reduce the number of employees who leave your company.
You might not believe it, but an integrity line can even lead to an increase in productivity in your organization by removing bad actors and boosting morale. This is what happened with one of FaceUp’s clients, the Brno Municipal Office.
Discover potentially lucrative ideas
As hinted at above, an integrity line is not just a tool for receiving reports of malpractice, but can also be a fertile source of new product ideas or other suggestions for improvements.
Avoid unwanted media attention
Allowing for issues to be reported and resolved through an integrity line means that you can keep the matter inside your organization and sidestep a situation where the person affected feels compelled to speak out in the media.
Have the chance to speak up something’s not right
Knowing that your employer has an established whistleblowing channel provides peace of mind to employees who know they have the means to speak up if they witness something untoward.
Protect themselves from retaliation
Since most integrity lines are anonymous (like FaceUp), whistleblowers know that they won’t face a backlash or have their career prospects harmed by sending a report.
Once you have decided to introduce an integrity line, you need to ensure people use it.
Here at FaceUp we wrote a whole blog post on this subject, but the key takeaways are the following:
Guaranteeing confidentiality through an anonymous reporting feature is also crucial to the uptake of the system.
There are a whole host of integrity lines and other whistleblowing systems on the market today, making it tricky to decide which one is right for your business. Again, FaceUp is here to help! We compiled a comprehensive list of the current best options in terms of integrity lines, to make your life a little easier.
FaceUp is a secure, intuitive and easy to use integrity line with a rich set of features including a customizable suggestion form and advanced suggestion management, both available in 113 languages.
It provides the highest level of data protection and anonymity - it is GDPR compliant, ISO 27001 certified and offers E2E encryption and 2FA. FaceUp can easily be integrated with your company intranet, website, or app through API.
Whistleblowing - just a bureaucracy or an opportunity for your company?