Brno-střed
Whistleblowing

"After investigating several reports through FaceUp we terminated our working relationship with a head of department,” reveals secretary of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office

What did the introduction of FaceUp to the Brno-Centre Municipal Office bring? And why has there been an increase in overall productivity across the workplace? Read our interview with the secretary of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office, Bc. Petr Štika, MBA, LL.M. First you introduced an anti-corruption hotline and then subsequently were the first authority in the Czech Republic to introduce an online whistleblowing platform. What motivated you to introduce these channels? "We started using an anonymous whistleblowing channel several years ago because we wanted to increase the city hall’s transparency and introduce an effective tool to prevent corruption. We wanted to give everyone who has been in contact with the office or the organisations of our city district and has witnessed corruption or unethical conduct to be able to report it. We imagined that the option of anonymous reporting would be used by goods or service suppliers who had been unsuccessful and maybe the employees of entrepreneurs who have worked with our city district. We assumed that these target groups in particular would be fearful of reporting suspicious activities that they might have witnessed.” Why did you switch from an anti-corruption hotline to a whistleblowing platform and what do you see as the differences between the two?“A fundamental and significant difference between the two is that when a whistleblower submits a report through a whistleblowing platform you can keep communicating with them, provide feedback, and clarify their report. When reporting through a whistleblowing platform a whistleblower can stay anonymous, the system generates a numerical code with which they can log into their report, receive feedback, add to their report, and maintain contact with the recipient of the report.” How has the introduction of this channel gone for you? What has it improved?“The introduction of an anonymous whistleblowing channel has worked out really well for us. Originally we only thought of it as a tool for preventing corrupt conduct. Nevertheless, whistleblowers do use the tool. We have already received several dozen reports through it. At the beginning we were a little concerned from an ethical standpoint that the ability to send anonymous reports through the channel would result in slander and abuse. But this did not materialise. The reports that we have received so far have been relatively factual and concrete. We were able to investigate them and come to objective conclusions. Thanks to these reports we have also taken a range of other measures. From this perspective, it is an excellent tool for improvement. However, we are prepared for slanderous reports, that is whose goal is not to draw attention to breaches of the law but to unfairly damage someone’s name through the whistleblower’s actions. From my many years of experience in leadership positions I know that the only way to effectively combat slander is to fully investigate, and if the claim is false, fully refute it. That way you clear the person’s name who the slander was aimed at and you maintain good internal culture within your organisation. This is why an anonymous channel is suitable.  After investigating several reports we terminated our working relationship with the head of a large department of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office. What is interesting is that overall productivity then increased in this workplace.  A slightly unexpected albeit useful dimension that we have obtained from the anonymous whistleblowing channel is in the area of labour relations. We received several anonymous reports from employees about bullying. We took this very seriously, as our work environment is very important to us. After their investigation, we terminated our working relationship with one of the heads of a large department of the Brno-Centre Municipal Office and in another case we placed several employees under different leadership. Thanks to this anonymous whistleblowing channel we were able to create better working conditions for our employees. What was interesting is that overall productivity then increased in this workplace.”
2022-06-08T08:13:33.000Z3 min read
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Whistleblowing
Corporate culture

Thanks to FaceUp, our employees send us 15 relevant suggestions each month, enthuses SPORTISIMO HR Director.

Sports equipment retailer SPORTISIMO has more than 200 stores in 5 countries and employs more than 4,000 people. In order for employees to be able to anonymously send in suggestions of how they might improve the way the company runs, they introduced the online tool FaceUp at the beginning of 2021. Company HR Director Tomáš Rodný is delighted with that decision.  Extremely useful, albeit less serious, reportsFaceUp is an online platform created especially for the anonymous reporting of unfair or illegal conduct within companies (also known as ‘whistleblowing’). However, employees can also use the tool to make less serious suggestions to help improve the company, which happens very often in practice.  “SPORTISIMO is open to employee feedback, which is why we carry out a survey each month, asking staff about a predetermined issue. We introduced FaceUp as more of a complementary tool, a hotline through which people can anonymously raise a given matter. To be truthful, we only expected to receive a small number of reports, for example about serious breaches of internal regulations or even law breaking,” recalls Tomáš Rodný. However the reality was quite the opposite. During a year of operation, SPORTISIMO employees submitted over 180 reports. That’s an average of 15 per month. The majority of these reports were in fact not about serious matters, but more everyday issues. But they were still extremely valuable.  “For example, one person suggested that we change the music in our stores more often. Another employee asked why we don’t have a women’s version of a popular men’s size 42 shoe. At first glance they might be dismissed as trivial, things which management is blind to, but it’s worth dealing with them as it leads to higher employee satisfaction,” continues Tomáš Rodný. Initial fears of misuse of the tool quickly disappearedFaceUp is particularly praised for the simplicity of its implementation and use. “FaceUp has made our work a lot easier. The application interface and all materials are translated into five languages and they have even prepared marketing materials such as flyers. As a result, we’ve been able to introduce FaceUp into all our stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary,” added Rodný, who has worked for SPORTISIMO for five years. FaceUp is a simple online whistleblowing platform, which an employee can learn to use within a couple of minutes. Initial fears that FaceUp wouldn’t be used or that employees would abuse it by overwhelming it with nonsense reports proved to be unfounded. “It didn’t happen even once. The overwhelming majority of reports are really relevant, they quickly reach the appropriate person and in turn we resolve the matter. Through FaceUp you can communicate further with the person who sent the report, albeit anonymously, should you need further details or clarification. More straightforward issues we’re able to deal with in 24 hours, the more complex ones within a week or two. Most conversations end with the author of the report thanking us for dealing with the issue,” reveals Tomáš Rodný. Tomáš Rodný has no doubt that he would recommend FaceUp to other companies: "I absolutely recommend FaceUp to any company which, like us, has a number of branches over a large area, for instance over several countries. In such an environment it can be difficult to systematically collect feedback from employees, but thanks to this anonymous platform, it is possible,” he concludes. 
2022-05-02T20:36:11.428Z3 min read
Protecting whistleblowers pays off handsomely for companies
Whistleblowing

5 reasons why it pays off to introduce a whistleblowing system

Whistleblowing is most often associated with the fight against corruption, but there is much more to it. It helps companies establish a healthy and ethical environment, gain an edge over competitors, and protect themselves against reputational damage. Whistleblowing also has significant societal benefits, protects the public interest, and has prevented a number of unpleasant situations in recent years. Let's take a look at the top five reasons why it's worth your while to implement a whistleblowing system.  1. Protect your company's reputation Unless employees have a tool that allows them to easily, safely, and anonymously raise concerns about unfair or illegal conduct, they will usually keep quiet about such issues or go public with the information, no matter how serious. While financial losses can be made up, damage to a company's reputation can be irreversible. And yet, most problems can be easily resolved through a reporting channel, meaning that management becomes aware of it in good time. A whistleblowing platform helps prevent a media storm and poor reviews on a company review portal.   2. Save money According to research by NAVEX Global, companies lose an average of 5% of their revenue due to internal fraud. A properly implemented whistleblowing platform will uncover 3x more fraud than much more costly internal audits and is one of the most effective tools for detecting unfair practice.  The benefit of a whistleblowing system is that you can learn of problems ahead of time, so that you can resolve them without paying out huge sums and avoid further financial damages. In addition, the very introduction of a whistleblowing system acts as a preventive measure. The fact that there is such a system in place in a company can deter some people from acting illegally or unfairly in the first place. 3. Reduce employee turnover Most people who decide to change jobs have a compelling reason to do so. Surprisingly, the most common reason is not the amount of financial compensation, but dissatisfaction with the atmosphere in the workplace. Whether it's the attitude of management, relationships between colleagues or other related issues, detecting them early can prevent employees from leaving. If you have a well-established whistleblowing platform, you send a strong signal that you care about employee satisfaction. They can raise their concerns with a view to having them alleviated before they decide definitively to leave their role.  4. Avoid criminal liabilityIn many countries, a properly implemented and functioning whistleblowing system helps a company to satisfy the conditions necessary to escape corporate criminal liability. Moreover, with an effective whistleblowing system, a company can obtain a range of certifications, from ISO to CSR, and it also increases its credibility in the eyes of stakeholders and international business partners. 5. Ensures EU companies meet their legal obligationsThe European Whistleblowing Directive came into force on 17 December 2021 and as such, EU companies with more than 50 employees must do the following: introduce appropriate internal and external whistleblowing channelsdesignate a person or persons to receive and assess whistleblowing,allow suppliers, candidates for employment in the company, freelancers and other similar persons who might not be deemed ‘workers’ but who may find themselves in a position of economic vulnerability in the context of their work-related activities to also submit whistleblowing reports and for the whistleblower to be notified in writing within 7 days of receipt.assess the notification and notify the reporting person of the outcome in writing within 30 days (2 extensions possible)prevent possible retaliation against whistleblowers and accept anonymous notifications.It should also be taken into account that a whistleblowing platform cannot be implemented overnight. It will take time to establish a functional and credible whistleblowing platform, train staff, and ensure that there is sufficient awareness of its existence.  Do you have any questions? Would you like to see FaceUp in action? Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our specialists. 
2022-03-29T17:56:46.312Z3 min read
Whistleblowing system
Whistleblowing

Protecting whistleblowers pays off handsomely for companies

According to the EU Whistleblowing Directive, all companies in the EU with more than 50 employees must introduce an internal reporting channel to provide protection for whistleblowers. Whistleblowers will be able to share their suspicions of corruption and other similar risks that they have encountered through their work activities with an authorised individual.  The EU Whistleblowing Directive sets out rules and procedures to protect whistleblowers, i.e. employees who report information pertaining to breaches of EU law obtained in a work-related context. The directive covers a range of potential rule breaches, various people working in both the private and public sector, and complements existing EU whistleblowing legislation.  “Whistleblowing is a relatively new concept for many European companies, yet in the West it’s considered to be one of the most effective ways that companies can protect their reputations, employees, assets, and company culture.” According to last year’s global study by ACFE, as much as 43% of fraud detection originates in reporting, which is three times more than in internal auditing. This not insignificant figure is compounded by the fact that the average European firm loses 5% of its annual revenue due to internal fraud.  Whistleblowing as preventionBesides the detection of fraud, a properly set up whistleblowing system helps to establish a positive company culture, fosters trust in the organisation, builds employee loyalty, and protects the company’s reputation. Last but not least, the existence of such a system can have a preventative effect.  Whistleblowing doesn’t just have to be a means of reporting misconduct. More and more companies treat it as a benefit for employees who can safely and anonymously flag anything that is difficult to raise in person. This embeds a culture of openness and, more significantly, reduces employee turnover. There is a good reason why it is said that all the free company breakfasts in the world can’t compare with the message a company’s management sends its employees.  The imperative of listening to employees is underlined by other studies which say that:43% of employees are unhappy or demotivated at workOne in five leave due to better and fairer treatmentIn addition, 23% of employees have experienced bullying in the workplace and 38% of women have been sexually harassed.All of these problems could be avoided if a company’s management sent a clear signal to their employees that their views and concerns mattered and could be shared without fear of the consequences. Even if there is a culture of openness within a company, there are still issues which are difficult to talk about in person.  Suggestion boxes and telephone hotlines no longer cut itUntil recently some companies used a physical trust box or a telephone hotline for whistleblowing. However, such tools attract criticism not just because employees are embarrassed to use them but because they don’t fulfill the requirements set out by the new directive. Therefore, more and more companies are turning to modern online solutions such as the FaceUp platform (FaceUp.com) which offers whistleblowers anonymity and allows for further communication by chat where any enquiries can be made and all complaints can be resolved.  It is precisely this type of reporting channel which sets apart the companies who want to meet their employees’ needs and treat the law as an opportunity. Their employees will then back this up. There is a big difference between companies who only pay lip service to whistleblowing and those who introduce a secure, user-friendly platform which sends a clear signal to their employees that they can raise concerns without fear.  We would be happy to answer all of your questions about whistleblowing. Let's talk. 
2022-03-29T16:07:05.384Z3 min read
Competent authority
Whistleblowing

External vs. internal competent authority managing whistleblower reports

A trustee, ombudsman or delegated person. All of these terms you may encounter refer to one and the same thing, namely the so-called "competent authority", who is a key function in the internal whistleblowing system. Companies implementing a whistleblowing system are therefore faced with the important question of who to assign to this function. In the following, we look at what responsibilities are associated with the function, how to select the right person and whether it is more appropriate to choose an internal employee or an external delegate for this role. Who is the competent authority and what are his/her duties?One of the main duties associated with the forthcoming Whistleblower Protection Act is the appointment of a 'competent authority' who: receives and assesses the reasonableness of a notification made through the internal whistleblowing system,proposes corrective measures following a notification,maintains confidentiality; andacts impartially.The person who receives and deals with the notification must be of good repute, of the utmost trustworthiness, independent, free from conflicts of interest and properly trained. It is extremely important to keep the whistleblowing system as credible and efficient as possible through a sufficiently knowledgeable competent authority, thus avoiding the risk of the whistleblower disclosing information. A whistleblower may disclose information when they do not have sufficient confidence in the whistleblowing system or when they feel that the firm is not adequately handling the disclosure (they may get this feeling from a mere lack of communication). What are the steps to be taken by the competent authority once a notification has been made?The competent authority is obliged to receive the oral or written notification via the internal notification system. If the whistleblower requests it, the competent authority is also obliged to receive the notification in person.The competent authority must notify the notifier in writing of the receipt of the notification within seven days of the date of receipt.The competent authority shall assess the validity of the notification and inform the notifier in writing of the results of the assessment within thirty days of receipt of the notification. (In complex cases, this period may be extended by up to thirty days, but not more than twice.)If the notification is assessed as substantiated, the competent authority shall propose measures to prevent or remedy the unlawful situation and shall inform the notifier in writing.If the notification is not found to be justified, the competent authority shall inform the notifier in writing.Is an internal employee the appropriate person to receive and evaluate the notification?The head of the legal department, the compliance officer or someone from the human resources department are usually suggested as the appropriate person. However, this is a rather demanding and very responsible position which involves a large number of responsibilities. In addition, the person chosen must be sufficiently independent to avoid a conflict of interest in the investment of the notification. Last but not least, they must reliably maintain confidentiality, prevent anyone from having access to the content of the notification and must not provide anyone with any information that could defeat the purpose of the notification. A violation of these duties of the competent authority is punishable by a fine. If the company does not have a suitable candidate to perform this function, it is possible to appoint an external person who guarantees independence and professionalism in dealing with the notification and proposing effective measures.  See a comparison of the benefits of an external and internal competent authorityExternal competent authority: less administrative burden for the companythe investigation is guaranteed to be objectiveno risk of conflict of interestnotifications are better evaluated by a professional with experience in receiving and dealing with notificationslower risk of disclosure of the identity of the whistleblowerInternal competent authority:  better knowledge of the company and internal processeslower financial costseasier accessibility for verbal notificationsWho receives and evaluates the notification can be quite crucial to the fate of the entire incident. Failure to properly carry out the duties of the person in charge jeopardises the credibility and functionality of the entire notification system. The company is then at risk that the employee will either not file a report at all and the problems will accumulate, or will disclose their information, causing the company to lose control of the situation, but more importantly, the company may suffer devastating reputational or financial damage.
2022-03-21T10:07:30.343Z4 min read
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Legal
Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing guidelines: what you need to know about ISO 37002

At the end of July 2021, the International Organisation for Standardisation published ISO 37002:2021 (ISO 37002 Whistleblowing management systems - Guidelines). This standard is a guide for the effective implementation of an internal whistleblowing and  management system related to this. Together with previously published standards (in particular ISO 37302), it forms the first global standard to fully address whistleblowing. The new ISO 37002 provides guidance for establishing and maintaining an effective whistleblowing system based on the principles of trust, impartiality and protection. The standard can therefore prove to be a very useful guide for employers in establishing and using internal whistleblowing systems in accordance with legislative requirements (the EU Whistleblowing Directive and the forthcoming Czech Whistleblower Protection Act). However, unlike the legislation, it does not focus so much on whistleblowers, but targets organisations directly. It seeks to minimise the negative impact of any possible wrongdoing. According to ISO 37002, the important elements are: information securityensuring an anonymous dialogue with the whistleblowerprotection of whistleblowers The FaceUp platform is fully compliant with all current legislative requirements and the recommendations of the new ISO 37002 standard. What can ISO 37002 help you with?While the legislative requirements generally tell you what you need to do, ISO 37002 provides very specific and detailed instructions on how to do it. The standard can be implemented in any private, public or not-for-profit organisation, regardless of size or business sector. It is a broadly applicable standard - it emphasises consideration of the context, needs and expectations of the organisation and adapts the whistleblowing management system to these actualities.  According to ISO 37002, you should devote plentyt of time and attention to the  preparation and planning of an internal whistleblowing system, from securing all resources, allocating responsibilities, determining how to communicate through an ethical line or other whistleblowing channel, to documentation, etc. The standard sets out the content of the obligations for employers, defining individual roles, responsibilities and authorities. A substantial part of the standard is devoted to the actual process of managing the whistleblowing notifications received, which is naturally the most important part of the whole whistleblowing management system. On the other hand, the standard also emphasises the importance of other consecutive follow-up  (e.g. planning or subsequent evaluation of the effectiveness of the system).  The whole whistleblowing management process is divided into several key steps: Receipt of the notification of the violation,Assessment of the notification ,Management of  the whistleblowing - this  also includes providing protection and support to whistleblowers,Closing the case.According to ISO 37002, it is also necessary to focus on assessing the effectiveness of the internal whistleblowing system and to address its monitoring, analysis and subsequent evaluation. The recommendation is to conduct regular internal audits, the findings of which should help improve the whistleblowing management system. At the same time, it foresees that the system can be adapted at any time during its use to better suit the needs of your organisation and to be truly effective. Certification options and other standards for compliance management systemsAs stated directly in the title of the new ISO standard (Whistleblowing management systems - Guidelines), it is one of the so-called guidelines, i.e. standards of a more general nature, and therefore cannot be certified. However, you can certify your internal whistleblowing channel as part of a complete compliance management system according to ISO 37301 Compliance management systems - Requirements with guidance for use. In the context of whistleblowing, the (also certifiable) ISO 37001 Anti-bribery management systems standard, which deals with the protection against corrupt behaviour and establishes anti-corruption management systems, is also frequently referred to. Implementing these standards will ensure that your organisation's internal whistleblowing channel is truly effective and in line with all international standards. Interested in implementing ISO 37002 or any of the other ISO standards listed? We would be happy to explain the specific requirements and help you with the certification process. Let's talk. 
2022-03-21T09:40:05.238Z3 min read
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Whistleblowing

What is an online trust box and how does it work?

As explored in the previous chapter, if companies use standard whistleblowing systems, they will need to implement multiple ones to minimise the risk of losing reports. An alternative presents itself in an online trust box — an anonymous cloud-based platform that solves issues that plague other tools. Trust boxes have numerous advantages compared to other solutions. First and foremost, reporting can be completely anonymous. However, unlike emails or Google forms, this anonymity does not come at the expense of the whistleblower. Instead, employees make a report via the tool, and it is sent to their organisation. This is often achieved through using an access code or link unique to the company. There is no need to create an anonymous email address or find a private space to make a phone call to the hotline. Since there is a mobile app available as well, the report can be made from anywhere at any time. And if an employee chooses not to report anonymously, all they need to do is provide their name in the report; the decision is completely up to them. Reporting is not just anonymous but also simple, making it suitable even for less tech-savvy employees. While submitting reports, employees can attach files, thus providing evidence. Unlike many of the previously mentioned anonymous systems, online trust boxes are not just one-way communication. Once a report is submitted, the whistleblower can come back to it and check the progress. Also, the person processing the report can contact them back and ask for further information when needed, all while maintaining anonymity. Trust boxes prevent data manipulation. Email can be easily deleted or hacked, complaints left in a box easily discarded, and the hotline personnel’s notes may end up not reflecting the situation correctly. None of this can happen with online trust boxes. There is an activity log that helps track everything that happens to each ticket. Also, once a report is submitted, it will be saved in the database where it will be archived for a minimum of 10 years. This not only prevents data manipulation, but it also saves proof if needed for future legal proceedings. There is also the possibility of setting up different notifications, so resolution specialists will never miss a ticket. It is also possible to assign a different team or a person to resolve the report. If needed, it is possible to consult an expert via the internal comment function. When needed, reports can be limited only to a targeted audience. Online trust boxes also allow inputting reports submitted via other sources, for example, from managers or via an email. Once all the data is reported, it enables a running analysis that can help companies understand whistleblowing trends and react in time. Besides these advantages, online trust boxes also meet legal whistleblowing requirements — the EU is introducing a directive on whistleblowing, which needs to be implemented by the member states by December 17, 2021. More countries across the globe, such as the US, the UK, China, India, South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, have whistleblowing policies as well. Even if the whistleblowing law is not implemented in your country yet, having a system is often a requirement from investors. Online trust boxes are a one-stop whistleblowing solution for companies. They address the disadvantages of other commonly used systems, and much more. In the next chapter, we will analyse how to introduce it within an organisation.
2022-02-08T09:53:11.239Z3 min read
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Whistleblowing

Barriers to the introduction of whistleblowing

According to research, whistleblowing is beneficial for companies. For example, companies that receive a higher number of whistleblowing reports tend to have a plethora of positive outcomes such as a 46 % decrease in negative news coverage or a 2.8 % increase in return on assets to mention a few. However, this study found that 56 % of employees chose not to report misconduct. Other studies show even more alarming numbers. One EU study found out that 81 % of Europeans did not report the corruption they were aware of. Based on this information, two conclusions can be drawn — whistleblowing is beneficial for companies, but employees tend not to report misconduct. To be able to provide the solution, we first need to understand the problem. Why don’t people report misconduct more often? Barriers on the employer’s sideOne of the most prominent obstacles to the introduction of whistleblowing in companies is the negative perception by managers. Whistleblowing is perceived less as an improvement tool and more as telling on someone. Culture plays a role in this perception. For example, in the US, employees are three times more likely to report than in Europe. Also, the United Kingdom has the highest reporting rates in Europe. Additionally, managers often believe that there is no need for a reporting system as they have an open company culture that nurtures whistleblowing. However, the data paints a different picture. A survey by the consulting company EY found that 56 % of those who witnessed misconduct in the company did not report it. However, 73 % of these people reported that they would consider reporting to an external party, such as a lawyer. Managers also often believe that personalities play a role in whistleblowing. However, research suggests that there is no such thing as a whistleblowing personality profile — there is no significant difference between genders, age groups, nor between introverts or extroverts. Supervisors are also often concerned that employees will overreport and overwhelm the system with unsubstantiated complaints. Yet, annual reports by NAVEX GLOBAL suggest that half of all reports are judged as substantiated or partly substantiated.  Furthermore, a company is not obligated to respond to every report. For example, if the report is using vulgar language, the company is within its rights to disregard it. Furthermore, data by the FaceUp reporting system show that the average number of complaints per organisation is 3— 4 per month. Also, their data shows that approximately 80 % of reports are substantiated. Barriers on the employees’ sideThere are many reasons employees do not report transgressions. However, we can identify a few key ones that can, in turn, provide us with a better picture of the issue. It is important to note that the decision not to report misconduct is often caused by a combinationof reasons, not just a single one. This, in turn, means that you should be able to address all of the reasons as well in order to make whistleblowing easier. Fear of repercussionsFear of repercussions is one of the main reasons employees do not report the misconduct. This is not surprising, considering the consequences for ones that do. According to a US study published by the California Law Review, 82 % of whistleblowers experienced harassment, 60 % lost their job and 10 % even tried to commit suicide. Whistleblowing repercussions can be grouped in two main categories: Related to the whistleblowers’ job itself, or their social standing in the company. The consequences related to the job are more tangible ones, relatively easier to spot. They include consequences such as job loss or being demoted.The consequences related to social standing are less tangible but can be as detrimental to one’s well-being. The whistleblowers can end up socially ostracised, lose the trust of their colleagues or suffer a plethora of other negative consequences. It almost goes without mentioning that both categories of repercussions often go hand-in-hand. Having in mind such a high price for doing what is right, companies must promote the right tools and values to protect and reward those who speak up.Bystander effectThe bystander effect describes a phenomenon that the presence of other people makes a person less likely to intervene or help someone in need. It is the belief that ‘someone else will do it, so I do not need to’. This effect can be observed in a wide variety of social settings, including whistleblowing. Employees may expect that someone else will report the misconduct, so they do not have to take the risk themselves. Lack of knowledge about the whistleblowing processA survey by the European Commission shows that 42 % of Europeans do not report because they don’t know how or where to. Even if a company has a strong culture, if the right tools are not provided and employees are not aware of them or how to use them, whistleblowing will not happen as often as needed. The first step in building a healthy company culture in terms of whistleblowing is to make sure that the employees have the know-how to report misconduct. Belief that the report will be ignoredA European survey shows that the leading reason for employees not reporting misconduct is a belief that it will not lead to a positive change. The same survey showed that many employees thought that the company already knew about the transgression, or even that it is common practice. This illustrates the importance of organisational culture and its positive promotion of whistleblowing. Cultural normsCultural norms can also play a role in whistleblowing. Certain behaviours will be perceived differently depending on the culture. For example, in some cultures, complimenting a colleague’s appearance will be considered inappropriate or sexual harassment and can lead to reporting the transgressor. However, in others, this behaviour is accepted as a norm and will rarely lead to corrective action, regardless of how uncomfortable the person receiving a compliment feels. Often, even if the person tried to report it, they would be ignored and may even suffer negative consequences. This example illustrates why clearly communicating company culture is crucial, especially if it goes against firmly-rooted cultural patterns.
2022-02-08T09:04:50.671Z5 min read
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