When was the last time you thought about changing your whistleblowing hotline provider?
Perhaps you’ve thought about it because of the significant cost relative to the number of actual reports you receive. Perhaps you’re frustrated with the complexities and technical challenges of offering your global employees a genuinely easy and free to use telephone reporting service, in their local language.
Perhaps you’ve thought about it, but, like the majority of companies with an incumbent provider, it’s unlikely you’ve done anything about it.
The majority of companies never switch from the hotline provider they first signed up with. As a result, they’re probably paying significantly more than they need to and many won’t be benefitting from innovations in technology and new approaches to reporting and case management.
In our personal lives, the idea of switching service providers used to be pretty uncommon too but now most of us switch energy providers, insurers and even banks on a fairly regular basis. So why aren’t more companies taking a similar approach to their existing hotline providers?
Here are some common assumptions and reasons for a rethink.
- It will cost too much – true, switching between traditional providers has typically been expensive. But with new, innovative technologies much of the cost can be removed. A great example, is phone-based reporting. Maintaining multi-lingual call centres is one of the biggest cost components for hotline providers and one of the biggest barriers to switching. But phone-based reporting is declining significantly year on year as other options become available and so adopting alternative reporting methods reduces cost and can deliver a better user experience to your employees.
- It will be too difficult – with the complexity of phone-based systems and the tens, sometimes hundreds, of phone numbers and telecoms providers involved the very thought of switching providers is enough to stop many compliance teams making a change. That’s why we believe a move away from phone-based reporting (with a simple and effective phone option available where necessary) is the right way to go – for businesses and, most importantly, for employees who want to raise red flags or report concerns.
- We use one of the biggest providers, so they must be the best – historically, the market has been dominated by a small number of global providers, offering similar services at comparable prices. But the market is being disrupted by newer, more innovative providers using technology-based solutions often offering a significantly better user experience at a substantially lower cost. Unless the fees you’re being charged are reducing year on year, you’re probably not being rewarded for your loyalty!
- I don’t want to risk the security of our data – of course, especially in the light of GDPR. So choose the right provider who can provide evidence of their security protocols, certifications and compliance standards and make sure that your data is accessible only to your designated investigators.
- But everyone knows the number to call – do they? And if they do, are they using it? Are you really comfortable with the level of reports that you receive?
A change in provider can be a great opportunity to re-launch your organisation’s commitment to a speak-up culture by making it simple and straightforward for anyone to report a concern, no matter where they are in the world or what technology they have access to.
Waypoint GRC provides assistance with implementation or review of whistleblowing solutions. We welcome feedback on the issues raised in this blog and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.