June 23rd is a day to honour the worldwide voices of whistleblowers. Kicking it off, we’re pleased to interview Dr Nicole Foerger, Director of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity, on our Spotify and Apple podcast discussing the crucial need to support whistleblowers during their journey. It is not enough to ‘allow’ whistleblowers to speak up, it is vital for organisations to set a tone of encouraging their voices and supporting them throughout their disclosure process.
Whistleblowing is a journey that needs to occur amid a robust whistleblowing management system (not a mere policy). This requires organisations to offer support from end-to-end as whistleblowers consider reporting, report, participate in investigations, and concluding reports are issued. Providing an Employee Assistance Program brochure to a whistleblower when a disclosure is made is inadequate. Whistleblower Protection Officers should have a toolbox of referral supports available for whistleblowers, including corporate chaplains, ethics consultation for moral distress, probono legal clinics, financial supports, and employee coaching.
Whistleblowing is a journey that needs to occur amid a robust whistleblowing management system (not a mere policy).
Other ways of supporting whistleblowers include promoting your whistleblower management system by acknowledging the value of whistleblowers to your organisation. This can be done through financial rewards or awards of acknowledgement. When rewards and awards are provided, they should include the consent of the whistleblower as some may chose to remain anonymous or not desire such reciprocations.
As we have shown through many of our articles (notably here, here and here), whistleblowing is value-added for organisations because the information gained can help to end and prevent workplace wrongdoing. Listening to your whistleblowers, and supporting them in your end-to-end whistleblowing management system will benefit all stakeholders.
Reach out to our sister company Your Call for help with optimizing your whistleblower managing system!