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  • Samantha Moore

Improving Ethics Hotlines with Text Message

A man talking to a group of people at a desk with computers in front of them.

With the recent media coverage surrounding the #MeToo movement, it's more important than ever that employers provide their employees with a safe space to discuss unethical behavior that happens in the workplace. We have all been part of, or witnessed, workplace cultures that have accepted destructive behavior or attempted to sweep it under the rug.

An important lesson from the movement was the acknowledgement that it is often difficult for victims to speak up. And when a workplace culture does not take these complaints seriously, those who feel the need to report something do not know where to turn.

Reasons to Have an Ethics Hotline

Ethics hotlines are a simple, inexpensive, and an effective step employers can take in order to give their employees a safe space to turn to in cases of harassment and discrimination. They can also be a great resource to combat illegal actions such as theft, fraud, or embezzlement.

A study by The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found organizations with a whistleblower hotline experienced frauds that were 50% less costly and detected fraud 50% more quickly.

  • Having a publicized whistleblower hotline acts as a deterrent to potential perpetrators

  • Research shows in-house hotlines do not fully protect your company. A third party whistleblower hotline service makes your employees feel safer and more confident to make a report since they are less likely to be identified, and thus, less likely to receive some form of retaliation.

Typical ethics hotlines are provided by third-party companies in the form of telephone lines where operators are available to take a message from the reporter, they transcribe the message and send the transcription to their client. They can also be an anonymous online form. These are acceptable solutions but they are quickly becoming outdated and replaced by versions that rely on text messaging to communicate anonymous messages to the client directly.

Text Messaging is the Future of Ethics Hotlines

Text messaging and mobile technology have become a staple in our lives. Text messaging is the preferred communication method for customer service, promotional messages, and helpful reminders. Mobile technology can improve upon the existing ethics hotlines in the following ways:

  • Easier accessibility for employee and employer

  • Total anonymity of both parties (unless the employee chooses to disclose their identity)

  • Faster acknowledgement of reported concerns

By providing a text message ethics hotline for employees, companies will see higher volume of involvement and increased trust for the brand. They are easy to implement across multiple locations with a multitude of employees and are inexpensive to operate.

Text message also enables business owners or managers to receive reports straight to their phone, on their native messaging application. This innovative use of the most popular communication method doesn't result in more work for a manager or owner, it folds in nicely with the existing employee support system any company has created.

When a company provides a safe space for employees to report concerns, it benefits all parties and can increase employee morale and enhance the employee experience. Want to learn more about VoiceSifter? Request a demo below.


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