5 Industries That May Not Use an Ethics Hotline, But Should

It’s not uncommon for many industry types to feel like they don’t need an ethics hotline, but nearly any business can benefit from adding one. All it takes is a single ethics issue to ruin a business.

Encouraging whistleblowing doesn’t hurt businesses. In fact, it helps a business actively counter issues and create a better workplace. For small businesses, especially, this can boost growth and profits.

1. Fashion

The fashion industry constantly deals with ethics issues. Sexual harassment, stealing ideas and designs, covering up using low-quality materials and more are all issues this industry faces. Often, you never hear about these issues until much later or when there’s a major lawsuit.

But, everyone deserves the chance to speak out. Having a more ethical industry encourages more models, designers and assistants to pursue a career in the industry.

2. Agriculture

One of the more surprising industry types of this list is agriculture. But, the industry is constantly growing and doesn’t just involve a local farmer and few farmhands anymore. The industry includes produce, livestock, flower nurseries, lumber and more. The sheer number of employees means ethics hotlines are a necessity. Implementing them in a way that’s accessible to everyone is difficult, but it’s an obstacle that’s well worth overcoming.

The industry faces so many ethics issues, especially in how food is grown, livestock conditions, meeting the quality standards of buyers and more. Of course, there are the standard harassment and discrimination issues too.

3. Electronics

The electronics industry needs an ethics hotline to ensure high-quality products, better working conditions and equal treatment for all. If electronics manufacturers use sub-par components to save money, it could end up hurting the quality of the product or create dangerous situations for users, such as exploding batteries.

Adding an ethics hotline helps hold the entire industry more accountable. Plus, when the world depends on better electronics, an ethical industry is a necessity.

4. Auto Shops

Auto shops often don’t think about how employees interact. It’s easy to focus just on the work and forget about problems like harassment, unsafe working conditions, cheating customers, using subpar parts and more. Yet, all of this happens and often goes unreported. Sometimes, it’s not until someone gets hurt or a customer discovers a problem that the issue comes to light. Then, it’s too late and the shop’s reputation is ruined.

Give your mechanics and other employees a safe and anonymous way to report problems, even if they’re not directly the victim. It will increase worker and customer satisfaction.

5. IT Support

Technology in general is one of the many industry types that need an ethics hotline. One area that often gets overlooked, though, is IT support. However, these aren’t just employees stuck in cubicles all day answering phones or fixing things. They socialize with each other, deal with frustrating bosses and face discrimination just like with any other industry.

IT support staff need support, too. From being harassed by someone in another department to facing gender or age discrimination, these employees need a way to report what’s going on. Otherwise, you could easily lose your top talent. When customers and other staff depend on them, you need your staff happy and feeling safe.

Every industry needs an ethics hotline. Ethics issues exist and the best way to counter them is through active reporting.