For me, feedback is essential for any organisation, and a whistleblower hotline or speakup channel is a vital part of gathering insight into what is happening within a business.
These are the five key bits of advice I would offer to any organisation considering implementing or improving a feedback culture.
Quite often employees only see parts of a much bigger issue.
Although each individual report might seem relatively minor, when a feedback channel starts to receive multiple low-level reports on the same subject, it can be a symptom of a much bigger issue, so I try not to dismiss an employee’s concern, however small.
At any time 7.6% of employees are unaware they can report wrongdoing in the workplace and a further 35.3% are aware but not encouraged to do so.
It seems commonsense to say that promoting an employee speak up channel as widely as possible is not only best practice, but essential if you really want to learn anything.
Equally, the topic of culture is often a 10-minute slot on the agenda at board meetings, but if feedback can shine a light on wrongdoing, then 91.9% of senior management are likely be interested in hearing of it.
So, it’s important to promote upwards too.
One of the things I see on a regular basis, is that very few managers have either the knowledge or the confidence to deal with directly reported wrongdoing.
This often puts them in a really difficult situation, so I would always recommend manager training as an integral part of any feedback culture.
Employees are unlikely to speak up if they think they’ll become a victim of retaliation… why would they?
In our latest HR survey only 25.7% of HR Managers believed all employees felt confident in reporting wrongdoing.
That’s quite shocking to me because firstly, it shows a high level of distrust by the employees, and secondly, whistleblower safety from retaliation is built into most national whistleblowing legislations.
By highlighting any safeguards built into the process when promoting the service will you be able to mitigate some of employee’s fears.
Plus, did you realise that introducing anonymous whistleblowing and feedback you can raise the chance of reporting wrongdoing by 7%?
It’s the single biggest change you can make to drive more feedback.
And lastly, an open feedback culture just makes sense.
Employees who feel like they are part of a community rather than a cog in a wheel are more likely to stay at an organisation.
A sense of belonging to an organisation is what most job applicants are looking for in a company and feeling confident enough to speak up and provide feedback is essential to that.
Safecall feedback and whistleblower hotline services are an external, outsourced provider to businesses and organisations around the world. They also offer highly skilled investigations training and bespoke support that utilises our expertise.
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