Asking employees to speak up and report issues to management in the workplace is complex. Very complex. As a result, the vast majority of employees (75%) do not speak up and report incidents when they happen to them or when they witness them (bystander empowerment training helps a lot).
Let’s assume one of your employees, let’s name her Christine, is the victim of misconduct in her workplace.
Best case scenario: The employee brings it up to her manager, HR or whoever you’ve designated as the person within your organization to receive intakes of this nature. Because Christine is not shy and has no issue speaking up she reports the incident in person to her manager. Hopefully Christine’s manager then continues this conversation to HR and the situation is handled. That is a good thing.
Worse case scenario: But what if you have other employees, who are not like Christine, that wish to report incidents as well. They could range from a microaggression to something more severe but cannot get them to do it in person. Would you miss out on that report? Almost 100%. They probably would have reported it had it been in a way that is more comfortable for them. And for many employees, comfortable reporting is submitting a report that is anonymous (not not having to do it face to face).
Serious questions: How do you handle those cases within your organization that aren’t reported? (Answer: You can’t because you don’t know.) Do you have a system in place that guarantees anonymity or are your employees out of luck?
Anonymous reporting – with the right tools in place – are valuable reports for an organization. They still contain data and give you insight into a situation that someone may have previously opted to not report. Imagine if you had even five reports come in anonymously over the course of the year. That’s five more times that someone shared with you something they believed should not have been ignored.
One of the many great things about #NotMe is the ability it gives organizations and employees to efficiently and safely deal with anonymous reports while maintaining the anonymity of the reporters.
With #NotMe, an anonymous report is only the beginning. It is not the end of the report’s ‘life cycle’ like many other reporting platforms (we are looking at you outdated hotlines). With #NotMe, reporters and investigators still have the ability to communicate through an anonymous two-way chat within the report to gather more information or discuss the situation.
You’re probably wondering, will all my reports be anonymous? The short answer is: I don’t know. What I can tell you are the trends we tend to see with organizations that we work with. Initially, shortly after roll out, we see more anonymous reports. The longer that a company has been with #NotMe and the greater the organization has internally handled submitted reports, that percentage goes down. We have many customers that are in the 90%+ range of non-anonymous reports. Reporting goals, right?
While – as a legal or HR professional – you might be skeptical of anonymous reports while reading this. We all have our own biases and some come with our professions. But, put yourself in the shoes of the person that experienced or witnessed a difficult situation they need to report. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most likely), if you could report anonymously to start, would you be more likely to speak up? Let that question sink in. Help reduce workplace harassment and discrimination by having employees speak up earlier before they escalate into something more.
Remember, every employee has a comfort factor and you need to appeal to everyone so that you can make sure everyone has a safe environment to do their best work. What’s yours?
If you’re interested in hearing more about #NotMe, a modern whistleblower reporting solution, I invite you to find out how your organization can benefit by learning more about our product. If you’re already convinced or know that your organization needs #NotMe and you’re ready for a demo, you can request one by going here.