For small and medium companies that are new to the area of ESG, compliance and governance, there are a few must-haves. One of these is a whistleblower system.
Mandated in many regions and countries, at least for listed companies, a whistleblower system is necessary in any company, with regulators and large companies expecting that all their suppliers will have at least basic systems in place. So for suppliers to large companies or large companies themselves (whether listed, privately owned or funded by private equity or venture capital), there is no excuse for not having a whistleblower system that is operating effectively according to known guidelines.
Many small companies might currently have ‘de facto’ systems in place, such as email addresses and telephone numbers for reporting issues. These systems are often put in place to meet a requirement of a customer, but are rarely used and are therefore a waste of time and effort. These sorts of systems are destined to fail and never be used.
The good news is that, for a relatively small fee, you can use technology and well-accepted guidelines (published by ISO and known as 37002) to have a state-of-the-art system implemented in a few weeks. Speeki is a leader in building and implementing whistleblower systems and whistleblower technology.
There are many benefits to having a compliance and whistleblower reporting system instead of just an email address or phone number. Below are some of the most important factors.
A compliance reporting system can help streamline the process of reporting issues, making it easier for employees to submit reports and management to track and investigate them. This can save time and resources, and encourage earlier resolution of issues.
A compliance reporting system can help ensure that reports are accurate, as they can be entered directly into the system rather than being written in an email. This can reduce the risk of errors and omissions, and make it easier to track the progress of investigations.
A compliance reporting system can help protect the confidentiality of reports as they are stored in a secure system that is only accessible to authorised users. This can help encourage employees to report issues without fear of retaliation and protect the privacy of individuals who are involved in investigations. People can also be anonymous if they wish.
A compliance reporting system can help improve an organisation’s overall compliance with regulations by providing a central repository for information about compliance requirements and procedures. This helps ensure that employees are aware of their responsibilities, and can also help identify and address compliance gaps.
People who report things are more likely to engage proactively with a good system that is easy to use. If the system is not easy for the reporter to use or they do not feel safe to report, they are more likely to go to social media and report publicly, which would be a challenge for most companies.
Overall, a compliance and whistleblower reporting system of the type that Speeki provides can offer several benefits over simply using an email address to report issues. By streamlining the reporting process, improving accuracy, enhancing confidentiality and improving compliance, a compliance reporting system can help organisations protect themselves from risk and operate more effectively.
Companies should look for a whistleblower system that:
- can be scaled to continue to meet the needs of the organisation as it grows or shrinks
- is cost-effective
- is easy to use for both employees and management
- is flexible enough to accommodate the specific needs of the organisation.
If you are looking for a way to improve your organisation's governance, compliance and ESG programme, a compliance reporting system is a good option to consider. It will enable you to move beyond a telephone number and email address to a platform that has an integrated reporting, triage and investigation system.