Wrongdoing is rife in workplaces today. A massive 61% of U.S. workers say they’ve witnessed or experienced workplace harassment or discrimination based on race, gender, age, and sexuality. Yet reporting rates remain low. Why? Firstly, because employees are afraid of being victimised for speaking out. And secondly, they don’t think anything will be done about it, so why bother? If you want to boost reporting rates at your company – making your workplace a safer, more inclusive and happier place to work – here are 6 important steps you can take:
- Put in place safe, anonymous reporting channels like FraudCracker that protect whistleblowers, and help drive ethical behaviour and trust;
- Senior leaders need to show commitment to accountability by walking the talk and modelling the right behaviours. Share the metrics you use to hold leaders and the company accountable;
- Punish perpetrators proven to behave unethically, via disciplinary action, termination, prosecution, etc., and tell your employees when this happens. This sends a strong message that misconduct will not be tolerated;
- Publicly commit to do better for victims of wrongdoing. If an incident has been mishandled in the past, focus on re-building lost trust. Reach out to workers who were affected, apologise for the harm done, and offer recourse. Make things right;
- Invest in resources such as a counsellor or employee assistance program, to support victims of harassment and discrimination, especially those who come forward; and
- Set up an ombuds office that talks openly to employees about their fears and concerns, and educates them about the reporting options available to them.