Oftentimes, organizations put up a company hotline just to have a means for employees to raise concerns, but a well thought out and promoted company hotline can function beyond that.
Benefits of a Responsive Company Hotline
Company hotlines, whether in the form of a website or a telephone number only works if employees trust that their reported concerns will be attended to, or at least, listened to.
Compliance professionals and those with similar tasks of determining whether a reporting system is working, share that the huge majority (about 80%) of all concerns reported by employees are simply trivial matters. 8 of 10 times the report will just be about office politics, who was mean to whom, who’s taking all the sugar packets at the office pantry, who yelled insults at someone and so on. This is why it is too easy to take a dismissive attitude towards the concerns being raised. This is not what you want to reflect.
Though it is tempting to simply ignore the need for a company hotline due to the fact that the majority of complaints and concerns are petty or even personal issues, you cannot discount the other 20% that could mean a big deal in your organization. More so, dismissing a company hotline as something your organization does not need reflects a dismissive culture – something that can cause an increase of employee fraud in your business.
Your company hotline’s value should not be gauged by the types of reports nor the number of reports that is fed to it. Its value is actually about promoting positive morale and show employees that the company’s management is interested and is willing to listen to their concerns.
When a CEO or someone from upper management urges employees to report concerns, employees feel more confident to talk about the things that are happening in your organization that you may not be noticing. Though some employees will still often share their concerns with their supervisors, a company hotline increases the likelihood that the concerns will actually reach the ears of the decision makers and will not be lost to company politics.
An Invaluable Resource
A well-implemented reporting system that is highlighted and promoted by the company’s upper management can easily become the company’s most invaluable resource for both the compliance function people and senior management. How so? This type of reporting system can uncover major issues. For instance, some companies report that they were able to sort out a major problem in their product (that could have gone out to their customers and cause damage) because one or two employees shared a concern via their hotline. These are the kind of calls that is all too uncommon but can have a major impact on your business if left unreported.
A Culture of Compliance
Company hotlines give way to opportunities that promote a culture of compliance. Companies that make a point of regularly monitoring the nature of calls and analyzes the data from that can garner real deep insights and see patterns within the practices in the company.
Take for instance a case of a seemingly perfect department, with a supervisor leading that department and everything running smoothly. No one would have thought there is something wrong going on in there if not for a few separate reports by employees which prompted the management to investigate and find out that there are a ton of issues. It turned out that the supervisor was covering for the issues because getting the issues addressed means exposing some unsavoury things he is doing.
Company hotlines gives you a means to really find out things that should be addressed. It gives you some insights on what should be investigated and alerts you to possible fraud.
Best Practices for Company Hotlines
A call in number is the most common type of company hotline but using other means such as a feedback link or email can give you more means to extract real concerns. This is why having a few avenues for your reporting system is crucial for it to be truly effective.
Company hotlines that allow employees to leave anonymous reports can help protect your whistleblowers. It might be cumbersome because follow ups are nearly impossible but this will help those who are just too afraid to speak up because they know that their anonymity will be protected.
Responding to reported concerns demonstrates that your business is committed to both your company’s and employees’ welfare. This increase in trust factor that’s brought in by the company’s responsiveness and reliability gives employees more reason to report a concern. More reports with real value can mean a better organization and profits for you!
Need help setting up a proper company hotline? Then contact Toronto’s leading team of private investigators for a consultation! We specialize in various ways of protecting your business from fraud. Let’s talk about how you can make having a company hotline work for you today!