A rise in the prominence of whistleblowing and the development of whistleblowing regulations across the world means organisations need to consider the implications of both for their success.
There are many factors to take into account if your company wants to have success with its whistleblowing policy. One of them is the role of the board and what they need to know about whistleblowing.
In this blog post we will cover 6 of the most important things that boards should be aware of.
1. Laws & Regulations Will Make Whistleblowing A Compliance Issue
There are various whistleblowing laws and regulations around. The most notable recent development is the European Union’s Whistleblower Protection Directive.
This directive requires all European organisations with at least 50 workers and all municipalities to comply with their country’s equivalent of the directive. Thus, boards will have to consider how they will meet the compliance requirements.
2. Requirements Of The Organisation’s Whistleblowing Channel
Regulated compliance will be in place by the end of 2021 in the EU. It will demand the following:
- Organisations must establish a secure and confidential whistleblowing channel.
- The reporting system must comply with data security policies like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This includes allowing anonymous reporting.
- A dedicated whistleblowing team or personnel to handle cases.
Boards can use the stipulations of the regulations and laws to guide them in putting effective whistleblowing channels in place.
3. The Role Of The Board In The Whistleblowing Program
Your whistleblowing program comprises a channel, policy and a team. So where does the board fit in? Well, the board itself needs to determine this.
Whistleblowing teams manage reports. They give feedback, analyse progress and suggest and implement response actions. However, the board is intrinsically linked to the purpose of whistleblowing.
Whistleblowing identifies misconduct, encourages transparency, promotes positive organisational values, and manages risk. Boards serve the same purposes - controlling the governance of the business.
Thus, it can be valuable to foster a link between the whistleblowing team and the board. You can have regular feedback sessions with a team member or one board member can join the whistleblowing team.
4. It’s Important To Track Effectiveness
Boards need to make sure that their teams track key whistleblower metrics from their whistleblowing channels. Doing so can provide valuable insights. For example, whistleblowing teams should track:
- The number of reports
- Recurring issues
- Investigation statuses
- And the outcomes of the investigations
By analysing these metrics, organisations can identify where they fall short. Thus, they can work on improving various areas to eliminate recurring problems.
5. Whistleblowing As A Tool For Learning
Boards can deduce a lot about their organisation from their whistleblowing program:
- Do employees abide by the business’ guidelines and values?
- Are employees aware of the whistleblowing policy, channels, repercussions, and team?
- Do reported cases point to specific, repeated issues in the organisation?
Boards should approach whistleblowing as an opportunity for learning. It can enable them to improve their organisation’s functionality.
6. Going Digital Is Best
Boards may feel anxious about how to oversee an effective whistleblowing system. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
A digital, whistleblower reporting platform brings reporting, auditing, data management, feedback and other elements of whistleblowing together. This way, an organisation can manage whistleblowing cases seamlessly from one easy-to-access platform.
While there are many things boards should consider when it comes to whistleblowing, the 6 considerations above are some of the most important ones and a practical place to start.
If you're looking to implement a mobile platform for your whistleblowing reports and case management, we've got you covered. Incy.io is easy-to-use, fast to set up, has customisable workflows, vast integration possibilities and more. Contact us for more information or book a demo.
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