5 Factors That Determine The Effectiveness Of A Whistleblower Channel

by Arttu Vesterinen


In recent years, whistleblowing has commanded the corporate management spotlight, encouraging businesses to create or improve their whistleblowing policies. It's now more important than ever to evaluate whether these policies help to stay compliant with the official directives and laws in the area. 

When determining whether your whistleblowing channel is effective, consider the following 5 factors:

1. Awareness


For your whistleblower channel to work, everybody in your organisation needs to be aware of it. Some information, like the identities of people reporting, can be shared on a need-to-know basis, and only if the whistleblowers themselves have consented to share their identity in advance. Whereas, other information, such as awareness of the whistleblower channel and how it works, needs to be open to everyone. 

Your employees and anyone in contact with your business need to know:

  • How to report whistleblowing cases?
  • What are the different channels for whistleblowing reporting?
  • What are the whistleblowing policies in place?
  • To whom or where should the cases be reported?

It’s also important for them to have awareness of what kinds of things (i.e. whistleblowing categories) they should report. Promoting awareness of all these aspects ensures the efficiency of your whistleblowing channel.


2. Legitimacy Of Cases Reported


Your organisation ought to have a range of reporting pipelines all coexisting to ensure its success. Whistleblowing is specifically for reporting misconduct and malpractices. 

Managing your whistleblowing channel and the cases reported requires many resources. To optimise the output of these resources, you need to focus them on accurate misconduct cases. Thus, you must calculate the number of cases reported that show legitimate misconduct versus false misconduct reports. 

By identifying misconduct cases reported vs. illegitimate whistleblowing cases, you can find ways to improve understanding of whistleblowing in your organisation.


3. Communication And Feedback


Awareness, understanding and communication walk hand-in-hand. Monitor the following metrics to improve on all three:

  • How quickly do you deal with incoming cases after they are reported?
  • How many times do you provide feedback to a whistleblower?
  • How often you update all involved individuals on the progress of the report?

Having a clear and transparent feedback loop around these questions will help you understand how well your channel is working, and whether it is optimised for the entire whistleblowing process. 


4. Reporting Analysis


Reflecting on the impact of your channel is important. The above metrics allow you to take stock of the state of varying aspects of your channel. But, you also have to analyse statistics relating to the reports themselves.

Auditing and analysing reporting data helps you identify the main issues and trends of misconduct, their frequency and causes.


5. Transformation


Finally, you need to track the outcome of reported misconduct. What does your organisation do about reports? An effective program needs a plan and actionable goals in order to address the issues present.

This is also a key component in ensuring that the whistleblower reports are acted upon and that the whistleblowers know what happens with the cases they have reported. 


Final Thoughts


A good whistleblowing channel engages employees and helps organisations communicate effectively. It also addresses reports more transparently. Most importantly, it deals with those issues for the better of the organisation. Finding the right channel can be hard. But as a tip, using a digital whistleblowing platform will help you simplify all the five steps above.

If you're looking for a whistleblowing channel that is in line with the new directive, ticks all the boxes for anonymity, enables real dialogue, has built-in investigation features and more, have a look at our | Whistleblowing module and book a demo to discuss your specific needs:

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Arttu Vesterinen

Chief Executive Officer