Real Life Ethics Hotlines Making a Difference

If your company stakeholders and management are looking for a more effective and proven way to streamline ethics policies, consider an ethics hotline. Here are just a few real-world examples of how having a hotline in your organization can be a cost-effective solution to elevate how you support and enforce an ethical workplace culture.

Case Study 1: Whistleblower Report Uncovers Fraudulent Practices

An employee of a large multinational company noticed discrepancies in several financial transactions. This employee suspected fraudulent activity and knew it should be reported but was afraid to do so. Because this company had an ethics hotline in place, the employee could anonymously report their suspicions without revealing their identity. As a result, the report was investigated, and fraudulent activity was found. Those responsible were terminated immediately, and stronger policies and training protocols were implemented to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Case Study 2: Addressing Workplace Harassment

Several employees at a large distribution warehouse were being regularly harassed and bullied by a small group of coworkers. These individuals threatened the employees with retaliation if any of the incidents were reported to management. When the employees learned of a new ethics hotline that their HR Department had made available, they were able to report the harassment and bullying confidentially, feeling secure in the knowledge that what they shared would make a difference under the cloak of anonymity. Today, this company has taken steps to train all employees (in the distribution center and companywide) in inclusivity and sensitivity training modules. And there is a more robust effort to promote and educate all employees on how and when to use the ethics hotline to report other issues that may arise in the workplace.

Case Study 3: Ensuring Product Safety Compliance

A manufacturing firm that supplies components to the automotive industry had an employee who was not following safety guidelines and protocol on the assembly line. This could affect the safety of automobiles being released for public use as well as jeopardize employee safety in production. One employee recognized this and had already attended training, not only to recognize safety violations but also to report them using the ethics hotline. It turned out that the employee in question was not trained properly, and based on the hotline call, proper training in safety guidelines was executed for all employees.

Real-Life Advantages of Ethics Hotlines

These three case study examples are great evidence of the efficacy of an ethics hotline. Employees inherently know what proper adherence to company guidelines is and that they should report fellow employees who are not following the guidelines. However, this may be difficult for some employees who might fear retaliation from the suspect employee, or perhaps there’s a long-standing coworking relationship at risk. With an ethics hotline available, there is always anonymity for the individual reporting the incident. In addition to safe, anonymous reporting, the ethics hotline can also foster better relationships between employees and management, expose weaknesses in the existing protocols and policies, and solidify employee confidence that their employer is dedicated to a safe, non-hostile work environment.

Ethical Advocate Can Help

While implementing an all-inclusive ethics plan might seem daunting, Ethical Advocate specializes in a custom-made ethics package that is right for your company to streamline your efforts. Additionally, we offer many other ethics-related products and training. Reach out to our team today to find out more about the customizable ethics hotline and more!