Empowering your staff to raise concerns could make all the difference

20-05-2016

Transparency helps leaders, managers and employees to build and maintain a culture of accountability at work; something which is vital when protecting against fraud and misconduct.

What can organisations do? 

  1. Provide an appropriate framework and protect staff who blow the whistle. A visible and well-articulated whistleblowing policy is essential for organisations determined to create an anti-fraud culture. It clearly demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a transparent and accountable culture. It also shows that the organisation takes misconduct seriously and reinforces the understanding that employees are encouraged to disclose suspected malpractice and misconduct
  2. Establish clear policies and guidelines. There is a significant association between employees’ knowledge of appropriate internal channels and the likelihood that they will report perceived misconduct. Employees must also genuinely believe that their concerns will be listened to and taken seriously.
  3. Invest in training for employees. One of the main barriers to employees reporting misconduct at work is a lack of awareness of existing policies and procedures, and knowing how to start the process in the first instance. Training can help to remove uncertainty, motivate employees, enhance counter-fraud armoury, and create a positive work environment. 

How CIPFA can help?

One of the best ways to relate information to staff is through scenario-led content and case studies. This approach brings policy to life and enables individuals to relate to training materials. The CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre in collaboration with Public Concern at Work (PCaW) and Mazars has developed an e-learning course which covers the fundamentals of whistleblowing for employees. The course explains how to raise and report concerns at work, plus aims to eradicate ‘grey areas’ around processes, complaints and definitions.

The package empowers employees to act in the right way if they witness misconduct at work. From an employee perspective it shows that their employers are listening to their concerns and demonstrating effective leadership, creating a positive working environment. 

Whistleblowing should not be ignored due to perceived negative consequences for an organisation and its employees. There are a raft of potential problems facing firms or public sector organisations that do not adequately address the issue. 

Ultimately, if robust arrangements for whistleblowing are not offered within an organisation then that organisation exposes themselves to further risk. Disgruntled employees with no effective means of redress may turn to external sources to blow the whistle, and this can be to the detriment of the organisation as well as the individual.

Find out more

For further information on the e-learning package please click the links below: