Due to recent media coverage of multiple companies across many industries being caught in compromising positions, many organizations are seeing the value of giving their teams a way to speak up...before things get bad.
So companies install some sort of anonymous tip line that their employees to use, but that is just where implementation begins. In order to get employees to use an anonymous tip line, there must be consistent encouragement and trust-building that happens alongside the installation.
How does a company encourage their employees to speak up?
As cliche as it sounds - it starts at the top. Business executives and managers need to be fully committed to the use of the new platform and must openly encourage all their teams to use it, repeatedly, forever.
This is where many companies fail at implementing their tip line. Executives and managers must be highly involved in the beginning and reporting process. Here are some ways that a company can effectively encourage a "speak up" culture:
Make sure that your company materials (like the Code of Conduct or Employee Manual) contain any change of procedure and that revised copies are distributed to all employees in a timely manner.
Communicate through various channels
Remind employees about the tip line workflow in many ways. Send emails with a quick video detailing how employees can report, distribute wallet-friendly cards with the phone number on it, post posters in shared spaces, reminder slips with pay stubs, etc.
Prove to employees that their anonymity is preserved throughout the whole process if they prefer it to be. This is typically the biggest hangup that prevents people from reporting to tip lines, they feel their comments CAN and WILL be tracked.
Keep employees in the loop
When matters are reported it is important to inform the entire team, without providing any details, that a matter has been reported and is being investigated or has been resolved. This shows employees that other team members trust the system and are using it. It also shows that all matters are being treated equally and thoughtfully.
Maintain constant commitment
Each department should have a spokesperson that regularly communicates to their direct team regarding the tip line. Reminders coming from different layers in the leadership system will help build trust and encourage reporting.
Engage in regular feedback sessions with employees to gauge how they feel about the organization, their employment, and any concerns they may have. For this process, it is also recommended that you use an anonymous collection method.
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