Why a whistleblowing policy is critical in times of change

Why a whistleblowing policy is critical in times of change

May 29, 2022

In times of change, a whistleblowing policy can be a critical tool to ensure that certain things do not change. This can, for example, apply to the organization's morals and business ethics, but also the behavior that you want to see more of in your employees.

In times of change, it is easy for stability within an organization to be affected, often for the worse. However, a good whistleblowing policy can help to continue to offer the necessary stability regardless of how many major changes are taking place in the organization.

How a whistleblowing policy offers stability

A whistleblowing policy offers stability by containing the values ​​that the organization holds high. Your business ethics and morals are something that is represented by your whistleblower policy. This means that the policy continues to provide stability, even in times of change.

It also assures that employees have the courage to report malpractices and faulty business practices, even if, for example, a new management is put in place. The whistleblower policy can be used to fall back on.

Also read: 3 essential steps to create a Speak Up-culture

Tips on what a good whistleblower policy should include

There is really no whistleblowing policy that is perfect for all organizations. Most organizations need to adjust and add specific segments that reflect their particular organization. One thing that all whistleblower policies have in common, however, is that they should be clear, simple and easy to understand.

Also read: How to make your whistleblower policy easy to understand

Below are a few tips on what a whistleblower policy should include:

  1. An explanation of what whistleblowing means, especially in relation to your particular organization.
  2. Different reporting methods and how they are used. Written and oral reporting as well as the opportunity to book a physical meeting.
  3. An explanation of what happens when a certain whistleblower report comes in, how the report is handled and investigated.
  4. Preparatory material for the employees and what feedback and feedback can look like in relation to their case.
  5. An explanation of what the process for a whistleblower case might look like. For example, how many days / weeks each step can take.
  6. Information on how whistleblowers are corrected.
  7. Assurance that retaliation will not be directed against the whistleblower.

A whistleblowing policy can be much more than a document

A whistleblowing policy can be so much more than a long piece of text in a document. For example, it could be something that is written in pamphlets that are handed out to all employees, or it could be something that all potential new employees need to read through.

Also read: Positive work culture

You can also offer themed days for whistleblowing and further training on the subject of whistleblowing to ensure that all employees are on the same page. The policy could also be made available on the intranet and the public website. Short excerpts from the policy can also be used on posters around the organization's premises to further remind the importance of whistleblowing.

Let your whistleblower policy play an important role

As the new EU directive for whistleblowing is put to the test, more and more organizations will place greater focus on whistleblowing and their policies. However, many will miss possible potential, namely to ensure that employees in leading roles show interest in whistleblowing.

Also read: The benefits of whistleblowing

Because people in leading roles show an interest in whistleblowing, the chances increase that your employees feel comfortable blowing the whistle. If they are constantly afraid of reprisals, they will still not dare to blow the whistle.

If their immediate manager and other people in leading roles within the organization are active in whistleblowing, it can quickly change in a positive way.

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