How to make your whistleblower policy easy to understand

How to make your whistleblower policy easy to understand

April 21, 2022

As more and more organizations introduce whistleblower policies to meet the new EU whistleblowing directives, it turns out that some do it better than others. Something that plays a big role and is often missed, is that your whistleblower policy should be easy to understand. This extends beyond not using jargon or terms that are familiar exclusively to HR workers.

By ensuring that your whistleblower policy is easy to understand, you are helping your employees and the entire organization in the long run. This is because a policy that is easy to understand also leads to more and more people feeling confident in using it. Stay tuned and we'll take a closer look at how to make your whistleblower policy easy to understand.

Communicate the information to employees

This is a simple tip that can have a big effect on how the whistleblower policy for your organization will be used. Asking all employees to read through a complete whistleblower policy is too much to ask for most people. It can therefore be a good idea to offer a condensed version that is aimed at all employees within the organization and then refer to the complete whistleblower policy if anyone wants to read more.

Be sure to mention the following:

  • What is whistleblowing?
  • Examples of the difference between whistleblowing and other misconduct or complaints
  • Contact routes (oral and written)
  • Possibility of anonymity

It does not have to be a long document and it certainly does not have to contain too much either. The important thing is that relevant information is communicated to employees so that they can take part of the information in an easily accessible way and instead let those who are extra interested or perhaps suspect that they have something to report read on in the complete policy

Also read: 3 ways to encourage employees to report malpractice

Use a professional whistleblower platform

Does it sound awkward to create a whistleblower policy from the start, or are you perhaps afraid to make mistakes when creating the whistleblower policy for your organization? Unfortunately, we see serious mistakes in self-written whistleblower policies all too often and that is one of the reasons why Visslan exists. Namely, we create a standardized and customizable whistleblower policy that includes instructions, routines, checklists and much more. Read more about Visslan's services. Of course, this whistleblower policy meets new EU whistleblowing directives.

By using a professional whistleblower platform, you do not have to worry about whether your policy is missing something, or if something is wrong with it. This way you also avoid paying costly fees to lawyers and save many working hours on writing a completely new whistleblower policy.

Establish clear reporting paths

Reporting paths are one of the segments in your whistleblower policy that employees care about the most. Therefore, try to be extra clear in explaining what different channels are available, and how they should be used.

A tip is also to include, for example, what information should be included in a report on misconduct to ensure that this is also included from the start. Establishing clear reporting paths is therefore extremely important. It is also a good idea to re-prove that there is a secrecy behind whistleblowing and which reporting channels offer full anonymity.

Also read: Positive work culture

In summary

Whistleblowing does not have to be complicated, in fact it can be really simple. By offering a whistleblower policy that is easy to understand, the possibility increases that employees within your organization feel the same way about whistleblowing.

By being open with employees and using effective communication and a condensed version, they can more easily take part in the policy. Also be extra clear with reporting paths or contact paths in your whistleblower policy and highlight the possibility of anonymity.

If it sounds like a headache to put together your own whistleblower policy, you can always choose to use Visslan's standardized and customizable whistleblower policy to save both time & energy. Right now it is also added free of charge to your whistleblower system!

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