Employee Hotlines: They’re good for employers too!
One of the really fun things we get to do here at myHR Blog is read articles about Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcements.
But, we love our readers, and so that is exactly what we do sometimes.
In a recent article published online by The National Law Review, some sage advice for employers was given regarding providing employees the ability to report wrongdoings to federal officials without fear of repercussions:
The SEC issued its announcement only two days after the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State (OIG) released a report noting its concerns about government contractors potentially chilling “employees who wish to report fraud, waste or abuse to a Federal official.” The OIG’s report encouraged companies to adopt best practices for encouraging the reporting of suspected wrongdoing by employees, including establishing a hotline for complaints, displaying hotline posters in the workplace, encouraging the reporting of potential fraud and abuse, and cooperating with government audits and investigations.
While employers (and their counsel) have obvious interests in encouraging – if not requiring – confidentiality in certain circumstances (for example, to prevent witness-tampering in internal investigations, to protect attorney-client privilege, to protect trade secrets and proprietary information, etc.), they must make sure that such confidentiality provisions and agreements do not impede an employee’s ability to report potential misconduct directly to governmental agencies.
Employee Hotlines are not Just for Big Corporations
In a perfect world, your employees would always feel comfortable coming directly to you with a workplace problem or concern that you weren’t aware of. (Actually, in a perfect world, there would be no workplace problems or concerns at all because we’d all be happy campers who were independently wealthy, but…) Last time we checked, however, planet Earth was still lovably flawed. Therefore, a strong possibility exists that at least some of your employees may not feel they are able to come to you directly with what they think is a serious company issue. And that can be a huge problem.
Employee hotlines can help you deter possible legal or compliance problems, not to mention uncover poor business practices that can be adversely affecting your company’s success or image. They provide employees an anonymous or privacy-protected venue in which to report issues such as suspected Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) non-compliance, ethics concerns, dishonest acts, theft or non-adherence to policies. With the use of employee hotlines, potentially very damaging problems can be caught—problems that if left undetected could lead to time-consuming, expensive and embarrassing government or law enforcement interventions. Furthermore, a well-run employee hotline service can be a valuable tool in weeding out bad apples, while showing everyone else that management holds high standards of excellence—something that boosts the morale and loyalty of all the good apples you have.
When it comes to ensuring regulatory compliance and improving the workplace environment, even small and mid-size companies can benefit from an effective employee hotline service. Beyond helping you with issues related to SOX compliance, ethics, dishonest acts, theft or non-adherence to policies, hotline services (such as myLink) can also offer HR-related support. When staffed with dedicated HR professionals, these hotlines can offer your company expertise and a personalized response for your employees. And by using such a service, your organization can demonstrate its overall commitment to accountability, ethics and integrity.
myLink Hotline Services
Your communications and your reputation are critical to your success. Supporting and protecting them is a necessity in the modern world of compliance and high-speed information sharing. myLink offers an HR approach to managing the voice of your organization. We are uniquely able to capitalize on our people relations experience and handle calls in a way that a call center simply cannot.
Our myLink Hotline Service supports your:
- Student body
- Basically anyone that you allow access to our site
Want to find out more about myLink ? Contact us today.