Reduce Fear with a Third-Party Hotline
Fear is the No. 1 reason an employee fails to report fraudulent or unethical behavior up a pre-established chain of command in an organization. Employees fear retaliation or possibly losing their job. While your current reporting procedures may be effective, implementing an anonymous fraud and ethics hotline outside of your organization will supplement and enhance these practices.
A third-party hotline provides an unbiased and entirely anonymous alternative to reporting suspected activity to a supervisor or member of management. By reporting a case to a third-party service, an employee can maintain anonymity, since neither the subscriber organization nor hotline service provider will make an effort to identify the reporter.
To ease the employee’s fear of reporting to the hotline, companies can add or strengthen current policies to include a zero tolerance policy for retaliation against anyone making a good-faith effort to report unethical or fraudulent behavior. Make sure employees know you take this zero tolerance seriously—tone at the top makes a difference.
Employees are the eyes and ears of your organization; you want to know what they know. Implementing third-party hotlines opens the door for employees to report activity that may be occurring behind the scenes in your organization.