The Impact of Ethics Hotlines in the Workplace

Ethics hotlines are on the rise, but how much are they changing the workplace? Many businesses wonder if there are any positive effects before implementing one themselves.

Employees may also not see the full impact, especially if they never report anything themselves. However, the impact of ethics hotlines is noticeable if they’re used correctly.

Happier, More Confident Employees

When employees are encouraged to use ethics hotlines and your business takes appropriate action, you create a happier work environment with more confident employees. Since employees know that the business has their backs, they’re less likely to just try and ignore unethical behavior, which can negatively affect employee performance.

Studies have shown that happier employees are more productive. In fact, they’re up to 20% more productive and happier salespeople can boost sales by up to 37%. For the best places to work for, stock prices even rose by 14%.

Fewer Lawsuits

When employees are able to anonymously report issues, ethics hotlines reduce overall lawsuits by employees. Issues are reported before they reach the point of a lawsuit. When lawsuits do occur, settlement amounts are typically lower. Mainly, this is due to issues being addressed early on. This helps businesses save money and time.

Improved Employee Morale

If employees are having to deal with unethical co-workers or management, it creates a toxic work environment. You have less teamwork, lower productivity and even a higher turnover rate. Hotline reports helps address unethical behavior so you can create a more positive work environment. The result is higher overall employee morale. This leads to better teamwork, higher productivity and employees who want to turn their jobs at your business into a lasting career.

Lower Turnover Rates

When employees don’t feel supported, they will eventually leave. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Odds are, your business won’t be prepared. Even if it’s just an entry-level position, it costs your business money and time to hire and train someone new. If the inability to report issues results in the loss of a higher-level employee or employee with specialized skills, the cost to replace them is even higher.

There are numerous ways to improve employee retention rates, including showing employees you respect them by valuing their needs, such as addressing ethics issues. Creating a highly skilled team always helps your business grow.

Better Compliance

With more reports going to ethics hotlines, there are fewer reports going directly to regulatory agencies. This allows your business to stay compliant without third-party investigations and even compliance fines. After all, unless you’re aware of an issue, it’s difficult to handle it. Letting your employees be your eyes and ears leads to better compliance.

When you’re handling ethics issues internally, you also help improve your business’s reputation. Scandals in the news are never good for business. Instead, staying on top of what’s going on and addressing it correctly and professionally help you to retain top talent and even increase sales.

The impact of ethics hotlines is overwhelmingly positive. Just remember to always address reports and protect those who report issues. And, make sure employees know the hotline is available.

Image: Alex Kotliarskyi