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Should You Enable Whistleblowing on Your Intranet?

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Whistleblowing is also defined as being informant, tattle-telling, snitching, and telling on. These synonyms are often taken negatively and viewed as a betrayal. However, whistleblowing is not always associated with negative connotations. In reality, it has positive outcomes. 

Whistleblowing reports illegal or unethical activities or information in the workplace anonymously without the fear of losing their jobs or any negative consequences. These can include any of the following:

Why is Workplace Whistleblowing Important?

Workplace whistleblowing is when employees, customers, or suppliers report wrongdoings made by the organisation or another employee such as discrimination or financial misconduct. Internal whistleblowing is when an individual reports within an organisation. 

It can include criminal activities such as theft or unethical behaviour in the workplace such as homophobic, sexist, or racist behaviours. 

Whistleblowing is important and beneficial to both the organisation and society. If conflicts can be resolved internally, it can avoid reputational damage and fines to the organisation. It is also important because it allows your employees to speak up about issues in the workplace without feeling threatened or worried about facing repercussions after reporting the issues.  

A reliable whistleblowing system enables confidential reporting of misconduct or irregularities within an organisation. This can also help minimise financial damage. Reports show that an organisation loses 7% of its annual turnover due to violations. 

What is a Whistleblowing System?

How whistleblowing is handled varies from company to company. Employees can report to their managers or externally to the government body or appropriate industry. 

Most large organisations have whistleblowing channels for employees and stakeholders where they can report any misconduct. There are different types of whistleblowing systems including mailboxes, voice-based systems, digital applications, or software. You can also use your intranet to enable whistleblowing.

How Can You Implement a Successful Whistleblowing System on Your Intranet?

Here are the criteria to consider when creating your whistleblowing system:

Build Trust

Let your employees know the purpose and value of whistleblowing such as reducing risks and losses, preventing illegal activities, increasing transparency, and avoiding conflict within the workplace. It is important to reinforce your message about your whistleblowing program across channels such as posters, email, intranet, and company meetings to help employees remember the goal and importance of whistleblowing.

Help Your Employees Feel Safe

Allow employees to report anonymously and update them all throughout the investigation process. You can also highlight the data privacy and security of the system like there is no way to trace the whistleblower’s identity. Reassure employees that reports made in good faith are not punishable or have any negative consequences.

Let your employees know that they can report any issues 24/7. 

Process Cases Diligently

Inform the whistleblowers on how you handle cases and when they can expect a response or feedback. 

Comply With Legal Requirements

According to the EU directive, organisations should inform the whistleblower that they can turn to external channels such as the government or competent authorities while still being protected for reporting. 

Article by Maria Gabrielle

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