The importance of whistleblowing in startups

Whistleblowing in startups illustration

December 14, 2022

A business that has just become active or is in an early stage is often referred to as a "startup". Startups are started by one or more entrepreneurs who believe there is a need for a product or service they want to create.

Most of the time, these companies start with high costs and little money coming in. It is therefore common for them to look for money from a variety of places, such as venture capitalists or other investors.

Benefits of working at a startup

Working at a startup offers a variety of benefits. Additional learning opportunities and responsibilities are two of the main ones. Because startups have fewer employees than large, established companies, employees tend to have multiple roles covering a range of responsibilities.

For many, startups are attractive because they place great emphasis on development and innovation, typically have high flexibility in work roles, and are fast-moving. But it is also not the case that a job at a startup only brings benefits.

Also read: Why whistleblowing systems should be hosted within the EU

Disadvantages in the form of long hours

Increased risk is one of the biggest disadvantages of a startup. This mostly relates to the prosperity and longevity of a startup. Before new companies can turn a profit, they must in numerous instances demonstrate their value and obtain financing. Keeping investors happy with the company's progress is critical. For many startups, there is a constant worry that funding will run out before profitability has been achieved.

Startups are characterized by everyone working for the same goal – the company's success. This can lead to periods of high stress and compensation that is not proportionate to the working hours. For many startups, fierce competition is not unusual, either. You can read more about the pros and cons of working at a startup in this article from Indeed.

Because of these risks, the likelihood of encountering adverse working conditions increases. Most vulnerable are people who are new to the workplace, as they often feel that they need to prove themselves as a good employee. For these reasons, a whistleblower solution with a well-functioning whistleblower policy is important to have in place.

Whistleblowing in startups

By ensuring that whistleblowing is available in the workplace, you protect the employees, but also the company's future development. Larger organizations often have fixed routines that have been implemented for several years. For startups, it is frequently entirely new workplaces that lack these routines.

Also read: 3 tips for choosing the right whistleblower service for your organization

Of course, this does not have to be a negative thing, but it means that it is of particular importance that good whistleblower solutions are available. For example, it should be possible for employees to report if they feel they are being treated unfairly by colleagues. The same goes for if they feel they are not receiving compensation that is comparable to the working hours or the amount of work they perform.

In fact, challenges in complying with regulations and laws are one of the most common reasons startups fail. This is shown in a survey conducted by CB Insights between 2018 and 2021. Although the relatively new whistleblowing law does not cover small companies, it may be relevant for start-ups as well.

Since startups frequently do not have too many employees, they can benefit greatly from external whistleblower solutions that are not managed by their HR department. Thanks to services like Visslan, your startup can implement well-functioning routines and external case handling for whistleblowing, with less than 2 hours of internal work being required.

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