Why a Third Party Hotline is More Effective

In our last post, we covered some of the notable whistleblowing events that occurred in 2012. While the events involved different government agencies, the unifying thread was the importance and success of providing a safe reporting environment for whistleblowers.  We understand that many companies maintain internal ethics guidelines and provide a structure for reporting misconduct within the organization. The unfortunate reality is that these programs demonstrate varying degrees of success and that success is often dependent on the trustworthiness of just a few people. Using an outside hotline, like ours, can eliminate a lot of the issues that typically arise with internally managed reporting hotlines.

Encourages Candor

No matter the size on an organization, all members are connected in some way. Employees, board members or shareholders who have witnessed or suspected misconduct are less likely to report the event using an internal reporting system when they know or think they will be recognized by the person taking the report. The anonymity of a third party hotline encourages employees to report suspicious activity and to be honest about what has been witnessed without concerns about recognition.

Minimizes Retaliatory Behavior

Retaliatory action is always a large concern for whistleblowers and often prevents reporting. By utilizing a third party hotline, companies communicate their desire to prevent retaliatory behavior because employees know the information they provide will be protected. Using Ethical Advocate’s services, you minimize the possibility of retaliatory behavior because we are able to limit the dissemination of information surrounding the reported misconduct through pre-approved administrators. The designated individuals will receive the information they need about the misconduct while limiting the possibility of it being shared.

Ensures Accurate Reporting

Because the information is gathered by an uninterested third party, the possibility of inaccurate reporting by the hotline is low. The individuals receiving the information do not have a stake in the outcome of the report and as a result, information is shared more accurately. More accurate reporting allows companies to make the appropriate decisions about the action that needs to be taken.

While outsourcing your reporting hotline may seem like an unnecessary expense, preventing fraud, stopping sexual harassment in its tracks and protecting corporate interests in just one instance will more than cover the cost of the service. We encourage you to explore using a third party hotline and increase the likelihood that you will receive accurate, honest reports about what is really occurring within your organization.