By having a whistleblower hotline, companies are able to improve their workforce. With the help of it, they can also prevent unwanted consequences for the company. It is a very helpful tool in enabling the voice of the employees to be heard by the management. In order to truly be helpful, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your whistleblower hotline is used as well as improved.
- Make your employees trust you – Trust is very important when it comes to voicing out their concerns. In order for your employees to use the hotline, you first have to gain their trust. If they trust you enough that you would do something about it and that they wouldn’t be in harm’s way with what they tell you through the hotline, you can expect to receive messages through it. Employees will act ethically if you also act ethically. It is important that they know that there is a communication line between the management and the employees.
Don’t just stick to telephone hotline – The most common medium to be used is the telephone as the hotline but not all are comfortable in using the phone. In order to accommodate others who don’t want to use the telephone but have something to tell, you can go for other web-based hotline services that companies like http://www.continentalmessage.com/services/hotlines/employee- Continental Message Solution (CMS) offer. Text based or other electronic devices can be used to report other than the phone. This helps the employees feel more secure that their identities will be kept a secret.
- Determine which should be dealt with immediately – It is the job of the managers to go through the different messages and choose which should be immediately dealt with or reported to other higher official members. Although all that is reported should be dealt with, there is a need for managers to prioritize which one to deal with first or to report within the next 24 hours. Those that should immediately reported are those that fall under violence, falsification of records, theft, fraud and many others. These are high risk issues that should be immediately looked into.
- Single third party hotline – Although you can have multiple hotlines for different issues, it can also be quite confusing to employees to choose how to categorize their issue and whom to call. Instead, you can just have a single hotline for all the issues that need to be dealt with. You should also consider having a third-party hotline also help to sort out all the different issues it receives. The employees are also more confident in calling when they know that a stranger will receive their call rather than someone they know from work. They would feel much better when they know that the other person at the end of the line doesn’t recognize who they are because of their voice. Having a third party also makes sure that the line is available 24 hours a day so they can call whatever time they want to.