Coming forward and reporting your boss is a risky business. There is a great deal of fear associated, especially in an environment that does not foster a ‘speak-up’ culture.
Whistleblowers are often met with unscrupulous tactics in order to end their employment or be punished for bringing the matter to light.
In many instances, whistleblowers are pushed out of their employment either directly or indirectly.
Many potential whistleblowers feel so overwhelmed by the situation and the cultural coverup of fraud that they are compelled to resign their position and escape the situation without ever reporting it.
If whistleblowers are lucky enough to keep their position with their organisation, they can see their relationships greatly affected. The whistleblower may find that they will be isolated from others within the organisation by being withheld information. Or a more severe form of isolation may occur in which they are transferred from their usual working environment to one in which they have little to no interaction with other employees.
In many instances whistleblowers are painted by the organisation and/or other employees as being the cause of an issue and should, therefore, remain silent and as a consequence are treated poorly by colleagues. In some cultures being a whistleblower is not the ‘done thing’.
Even with international laws beginning to catch up with their requirement to protect whistleblowers, more still needs to be done.
Many organisations are beginning to focus more on fostering a speak-up culture and are learning that only by providing employees with an anonymous way to speak up about wrongdoing, including harassment and bullying, can employees truly feel safe and secure to come forward about issues affecting them and the organisation.