Whistleblowing: Encourage Staff to Speak Out

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Health Assured team

20 February 2018

A whistleblower is a staff member who reports certain types of misconduct to the correct authorities. Employees past or present can choose to blow the whistle over a colleague or the company, in regard to serious issues such as health and safety, criminal behaviour or negligence. It is important for businesses to provide an outlet for staff to speak out about issues that concern them, especially if the matter affects members of the public or staff members. One recommended way to encourage whistleblowing is to allow employees to voice their concerns in an official capacity. Our specialist whistleblowing service allows employers to stay on top of staff behaviour and safety without having to monitor their every move. Find out more about how to encourage employees to speak out in the workplace and why it’s important:

Introduce a whistleblowing support service

  Having a policy in place is a great way to protect employees who wish to speak out about misconduct and reduce the feelings of fear associated with it. Staff should be made aware that anything they report is done in confidence, which can help raise trust in the service and guarantee the safety of any users. In turn, their trust in other staff members and mangers will be elevated, which can improve communication in the workplace and work towards a better overall business. Alongside a policy, employees should be aware that whistleblowers are protected by law to stop them being treated unfairly, or losing their job, because they ‘blew the whistle.’ Vocalising this point to staff can help encourage use of the service.

Increased visibility of the service

With the busy workplace lifestyle taking its toll, some services can be forgotten. If workplaces already have a whistleblowing policy in place, staff should be made fully aware of it and its benefits. If staff have any doubts about using the service, then positive effects from it are hampered. To combat this, we provide promotional marketing materials to help raise awareness of the service, and to ensure that everyone knows what protection is available to them.

Educating employees on the service

Having a whistleblowing support service is a great step forward in working towards a supportive workplace environment. Ensuring every employee is aware that whistleblowing is a serious issue, and not just for making general complaints, can help to improve safety around the workplace and may encourage staff to speak up. Open communication around the service and its uses will take away the stigma around whistleblowing, and help staff to see it in a positive light.

Improve how the service is presented

While the service is certainly professional, using supportive language such as ‘speak up’ can help to spread positive connotations of the service. This will allow employees to understand that the service is there to improve their safety, and physical and emotional wellbeing. This will prevent any misconception that there will be negative retaliation to their actions.

Increase accessibility

To guarantee that the service can be used by everyone, it can help to have multilingual support, as this means there are no limitations to who can access it. In addition, having 24-hour telephone support ensures that an employee can use the service whenever they feel ready. This will encourage usage, as it means that individuals do not have to disclose information in work hours to a person that they know. This would benefit anyone who feels nervous about whistleblowing. Taking this guidance on board will help ensure all staff feel able to “blow the whistle” on any instances of misconduct, and ensure they are safe and supported throughout the process. If you need more information on what whistleblowing is or how to introduce a support service into your workplace, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always more than happy to help you take the first step in improving corporate and emotional wellbeing.

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