Many organisations are seeing the need to give their teams a way to speak up, be it due to media coverage of companies being caught in compromising positions, government legislative changes or their own realisation that their people need to have a clear line of communication.
However, once you give your teams a way to speak up, how do you encourage them to use it?
It is a cliche but it is true – it starts at the top.
Directors of organisations need to have full commitment and to the new platform and must openly encourage all teams to use it. In many instances, directors are not aware of wrongdoing because they are out of the loop when reports are made. Directors should be part of the reporting process.
Once you have the full buy-in from your leadership team you are ready to communicate to the rest of your organisation and registered 3rd parties.
- Any changes of procedure should be reflected in your documentation and should be provided to all team members, or provide visibility of the updated Code-of-Conduct in shared spaces in the workplace.
- Use multiple communication methods to tell your teams of the reporting channels: i.e. email, meetings, posters in shared spaces, in/with pay slips.
- Ensure employees/teams that any and all concerns reported via the reporting channels will be handled delicately and that their anonymity can be assured.
- When matters are reported it is important to inform the entire team, without providing any details, that a matter has been reported and that it is currently being investigated or has been resolved. This shows employees that other team members trust the system and are using it, it also shows that all matters are being treated equally and thoughtfully.
- Within each division of the organisation, one team member should be selected as a spokesperson for the platform, who will regularly (monthly) communicate to their own team of the existence of the reporting channels, updated Code-of-Conduct etc. This keeps the procedure front of mind and also shows the organisations commitment to the program and to a speak-up culture.
- Engage in regular feedback sessions with employees to gauge how they feel about the organisation, their employment and any concerns they may have. For this process, it is also recommended that you use an anonymous collection method.