What to do with whistleblower report?

What to do with whistleblower report?

Marta Giemza |

There might be different ways of approaching the reported wrongdoing. Depending on whether the employee feels able to report the issue directly to their immediate supervisor or they choose the anonymous whistleblowing channel.

In the case of direct reporting, the supervisor should decide whether they can deal with the issue or whether it should be escalated. Having a whistleblowing policy and appropriate trainings within the organization can equip managers to make these judgments.

Larger organisations usually have a designated team or individual who can be approached when employees wish to report an issue. This way is particularly reasonable when the direct management relationship is broken or where the report involves the immediate supervisor.

If the whistleblower chooses the anonymous way, it is crucial to have a safe and easy reporting channel for them. Also, such a reporting channel should be effectively communicated within the organization.

Regardless of the way the issue has been reported, it is necessary to gather all the relevant information to have a full understanding of the situation. This can be done either through a face to face meeting or, if the whistleblowers wishes to remain anonymous, through a safe and encrypted communication channel within the web-based reporting tool.

Depending on how serious the reported issue is, it may be sufficient to have a conversation with a person that the wrongdoing concerns. More serious cases may require a formal investigation and the organization is responsible for choosing the appropriate action according to implemented whistleblowing procedure.

Below are a few good practices in regard to dealing with whistleblowing reports:

  • respect and protect the whistleblower’s wish to remain anonymous
  • handle all reports seriously, professionally and in a consistent manner
  • make sure that the whistleblower’s disclosure is not going to affect their work situation
  • Provide feedback concerning the action to be taken and the timeline of providing updates to each received report

Also, for safety and management purposes, it is a good practice to use the reporting system functionalities to:

  • maintain a summary of the received cases
  • analyze the whistleblowing cases by time, location and nature
  • record the time and content of feedback provided to whistleblowers
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