You’ve likely heard of whistleblowing. There have been more publicised cases in recent years.
But do you know what it is, and how you can protect your business?
Whistleblowing is where a worker discloses business information that they believe to be in the public interest and shows one of six types of failings; commission of a criminal offence; failure to comply with a legal obligation; miscarriage of justice; danger to the health and safety of an individual; damage to the environment; or deliberate concealment of information falling within any of these categories.
Our increased focus on health and wellbeing of employees has no doubt led to growing claims from employees about working practices. We’re also seeing more cases of people calling out bullying and harassment in the workplace, and rightly so.
Whistleblowing can have a hugely detrimental impact on the business it’s brought against, both reputationally, and financially. It can also mean that you lose a high proportion of staff, which is something you’re unlikely to want or need.
It is highly unlikely that your business is committing any of these offences intentionally, but in the same breath, if these things are going on, it’s imperative that you stamp them out immediately.
One of the most important things you can do is to work on your company culture. That may sound a little fluffy, but it’s the best way to make sure that everyone in your business has the same beliefs and values, that everyone understands what’s expected of them, what you’re working towards, and the consequences of failing to abide by your carefully laid out policies and procedures.
That could mean working on your handbook, whether that is creating a new one or updating your current version. Make sure you carefully check your policies still reflect your beliefs and working practices, and ensure everyone has access to copies of all of them.
You will want to create a culture that encourages everyone to speak up. That could be when they have a problem, when they have an idea, or when they feel something could be done better. Train your managers in good communication and listening, and make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable speaking up at any time.
You should also ask for regular feedback from everyone within the business. Find out how people feel about their roles, if things could be made better, if there’s an easier way of doing something, etc. Be sure to take any complaint seriously and act accordingly, too.
Need a hand shaping your company culture? We’d love to help, just give us a call 0333 2005153 or contact us here.