Whistleblowing | The Importance of Building Trust and Integrity Throughout Your Feedback Processes

The Importance of Building Trust and Integrity Throughout Your Feedback Processes
Safecall

Trust is a vital element in any relationship, and the workplace is no exception. If you are able to establish trust within the feedback processes of your organisation and foster a culture which encourages integrity, open communication and transparency, the benefits can be far reaching.

This article outlines the steps you can take to create and maintain a good level of trust within your workplace. It explores the positive impact it can have with specific reference to whistleblowing and speak-up culture.

What steps can you take to build trust?

The first, fundamental step towards creating a culture of trust and transparency in your organisation is through policy.

It is essential that you demonstrate to your employees and prospective candidates that you have a definitive commitment towards an ethical working culture.

Having this enshrined in company policy displays a willingness to recognise and appreciate the importance of ethical working practice. For example, presenting your employees with a whistleblowing policy reassures them that you will treat their concerns with the respect and credence that they deserve.

However, trust can be quickly eroded if those promises are not seen as being actioned.

Once that transparency has been encouraged, it must be respected, and accountability must come into play.

Although 92% of leaders are likely to act on Whistleblowing reports to make positive change , 42% of employees believe that no action will be taken . So, it is crucial that employees’ trust extends to the company’s willingness and ability to investigate and take appropriate action against reported wrongdoing.

Your dedication to fair treatment and accountability has to be demonstrated.

If you don’t walk the walk, then any speakup process becomes meaningless…

How can this benefit your organisation?

If your leadership or management team are seen to be living the positive values that are integral to your company, then your team are more likely to replicate those values.

The stronger the presence of trust and the stronger the levels of communication in your organisation, the more likely you are to have a positive working culture.

Demonstrating a commitment to combat wrongdoing, and actively empowering your employees to be instrumental in that process, helps foster an environment within which your team can thrive. Being secure and confident in the fact that their employer is continually taking steps to optimise their working environment can improve your team’s productivity and morale.

This can also help with the retention of your best team members.

Research by Deloitte shows employees feel more valued when their Senior leadership acts in accordance with the company's core values and beliefs.

What are the pitfalls of an absence of trust?

If there is a lack of trust in your workplace, and communication is inhibited as a result of this, it is harder to identify facets of your business that need altering.

When it is apparent to an employee that communicating issues is not worthwhile, it deters further disclosures from being made. A snowball effect then occurs where a breakdown of trust creates more distrust, until your employees become reluctant to communicate both positive and negative issues to you.

External providers can support you in building trust

By outsourcing some elements of your processes, specifically speak-up or whistleblowing procedures, you can take a fast route to building these high levels of trust.

By utilising an independent whistleblowing services provider, and communicating that to your staff, it demonstrates a commitment to fair treatment and impartiality.

Providers such as Safecall are experts in handling reports of wrongdoing and investigating workplace concerns - this expertise carries with it an inbuilt level of trustworthiness.

This is a perfect example of walking the walk: recognising the importance of responding to suspected wrongdoing, and taking affirmative action to ensure such concerns are handled with impartiality and effectiveness by the right people.

Conclusion

Overall, establishing and maintaining trust helps improve workplace morale and productivity, and safeguards your business reputation and employee wellbeing. It is crucial that your employees are not only aware of policy, but see such policy being actioned.

Working relationships are at their best when trust is present. You are more likely to co-operate, collaborate and thrive in a working environment which supports its employees.

Openness, transparency and accountability all contribute to the facilitation of a positive corporate culture and is vital that you take the right steps to increase employee confidence in your organisation.

Whether it be through policy, internal communication of values, or the utilisation of external expertise, building trust is central to this.

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