Too often, reporting options for abuse, fraud and harassment are limited to speaking with HR. But, employees aren’t always comfortable having this as their only option.
To increase reporting and improve the workplace, employees need a variety of options to report ethical issues. Not only is it more convenient, but gives employees courage.
Offers Anonymous Reporting
Standard reporting options through HR involve the employee either calling, emailing or reporting in person. None of these are anonymous. Plus, their co-workers see them entering HR’s office if they do it in person. For an employee that needs to report a close co-worker or even manager, it seems too risky. The last thing the employee wants is for someone to find out who’s reporting them and retaliate before an investigation can proceed.
This also makes it possible to anonymously report HR personnel. While they’re supposed to be extremely ethical, HR employees can still be guilty of ethical violations. An anonymous report to a team other than just HR makes reporting anyone safer and easier.
Makes Reporting Convenient
Trying to find the right person and schedule an appointment to report ethical violations isn’t always easy. A quick phone call, website form or even paper form with guided prompts makes it incredibly convenient to report issues at any time. Employees don’t have to worry about scheduling or being noticed. The moment they notice or experience something, they’re free to report it while details are still fresh in their mind.
Makes Employees More Confident
Often, management is guilty of harassment, fraud and abuse. But, employees don’t feel confident reporting their superiors for fear of losing their jobs. Reporting directly to HR means management will know immediately. By having an ethics hotline system, employees feel more confident reporting anyone, no matter what their rank in the company.
This reduces the chance of retaliation. If run correctly, an investigation is launched immediately and appropriate action taken. This also encourages more employees to step forward.
Allows Off-Site Reporting
Traditional reporting options require the employee to file reports at the workplace. An ethics hotline allows employees to file reports from home too. This ensures no one is looking over their shoulders or overhearing a phone call. An employee can file a report from the comfort of their living room versus being in an office surrounded by co-workers. It doesn’t matter where an employee files a report. All that matters is they feel safe doing so.
Helps Avoid Awkwardness
When it comes to harassment and abuse, victims often don’t feel comfortable actually talking about it. They want to report it, but feel embarrassed and ashamed. Talking to HR or even on the phone is too intimidating. But, if you have other reporting options in place, an employee can get everything out in a way that’s more comfortable for them. They’re more honest and detailed in their reports, which makes it easier for an investigation to proceed.
Encourages Additional Reports
An ethics hotline provides multiple reporting options for employees. This makes things easier, which encourages additional reports. For example, a victim of harassment might be too scared to report what happened, but co-workers who witness it may take advantage of the various reporting options to report it for the victim.
The more options you have, the more likely employees are to report issues. And this helps your business create a better workplace culture.