You rely on the eyes and ears of the workforce. It's time to turn up the volume.

Ethics and compliance professionals rely on the eyes and ears of the workforce to proactively surface issues that could result in serious and costly incidents. Whether part of a job description, an employment agreement or a cultural expectation, proactive communication about workplace concerns is vital to avoiding serious incidents and the fines related to regulations such as SOX, FINRA, HIPAA, NISPOM and BSA.

​​For many workplaces, anonymous employee hotlines and other impersonal reporting channels such as forms, department emails and telephone call-based ethics hotlines serve as a “check the box” solution. This is a problem for two significant reasons.

 

►First, it creates a roadblock to reporting as it relies on technology that fewer and fewer members of today’s workforce prefer or trust.

 

►Second, the generic nature of an email, scripted hotline call or form means that vital details that could significantly impact an investigation come too late. Too often, investigations reveal several people who could have, but didn’t, “say something when they saw something.” Senior managers of risk appreciate that such findings will not play well, either with the C-suite, in legal proceedings or the court of public opinion.

 

$100,000 → $200,000

 

►According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' 2018 Report to the Nations, the cost of an average incident of fraud doubles from $100,000 to $200,000 when a workplace lacks an [effective] employee hotline. Beyond this, you need only turn to recent headlines to appreciate that the immediate loss related to a fraud, cyber security breach or theft of Intellectual Property only foreshadows the losses to come in terms of increased insurance and legal fees as well as damage to morale and brand reputation.