Whistleblowing channel for employees

September 17, 2021

A strong culture of transparency and integrity is fundamental to building successful organisations. Whistleblowing can help identify a wide range of potential threats. Facilitating whistleblowing reduces risks and helps create a safe work environment.

But blowing the whistle when something is wrong can be very difficult. It requires courage and conviction, as well as knowledge about how your company addresses whistleblowing reports. Without this information, potential whistleblowers may never step forward - which can be dangerous for all parties involved.

To create a culture of transparency, it's crucial that all employees have easy access to an anonymous whistleblowing channel. For this, an anonymous employee feedback tool is what you need.

Related reading: What is employee experience – and how to measure it?

What does whistleblowing mean?

The word "whistleblower" is derived from an old English legal term - a 'whistleblower' was initially someone employed by an organisation such as a coal mine, for instance, who blew a whistle if there was danger - nowadays we would shout "stop" or "danger".

Today, the term whistleblower is more widely used for someone who blows the whistle on something they believe is wrong (usually but not necessarily illegal or immoral) and needs to be made public.

What is the EU Whistleblowing Directive?

To harmonize the existing legal frameworks and guarantee an EU-wide standard for the protection of whistleblowers, the European Union has adopted a regulation for whistleblower protection. The purpose of this directive is to protect employees who report potential infringements within the company from being subject to any form of retaliation as a result.

To comply with the EU Whistleblowing Directive, businesses with 50+ employees will need to implement a clear process for reporting both internally and externally. They should also designate an impartial person or department responsible for follow-up on reports. 

The Directive came into force in October 2019, and EU Member States must transpose the Directive's provisions into their national legislation by 17 December 2021. However, organisations with 50 to 249 workers are to introduce internal reporting channels, which may be brought into force by 17 December 2023. 

Provide a whistleblowing channel for your employees with an anonymous employee feedback tool

So, what is the best way to provide a whistleblowing report channel? Provide as much information as you can about your company's whistleblowing process and protocol. Provide examples of successful reports, the impact those reports had on the organization, and how each person's actions were recognized and rewarded. By doing so, employees will feel comfortable knowing that speaking up will not harm their career or reputation within the company. 

Whistleblowing and Anonymity

There are two types of whistleblowing: anonymous and non-anonymous whistleblowing. Anonymous whistleblowing takes place when whistleblowers do not disclose their identity, and non-anonymous whistleblowing concerns instances where whistleblowers choose to reveal their identities. In both cases, it is important that companies provide proper internal channels where employees feel safe to report violations without fear of retribution.

How Eletive Can Help

By providing a safe and anonymous channel for communication, even about very sensitive topics, you'll build an engaged workforce that takes pride in protecting the organization. The Eletive platform comes with built-in, anonymous whistleblowing channels that are fully compliant with the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Get in touch to learn more about how to build a feedback-driven company culture – with an anonymous employee feedback tool!