Whistle-blowing is the act of telling the authorities or the public that the organization you are working for is doing something immoral or illegal. (Collins Dictionary)
Frequently a new story seems to emerge exposing a questionable practice at a major or local company. Whether that company be Google, Twitter or Facebook, or your local grocery store, many of these stories are exposed by whistleblowing. However, this is not a negative thing. Whistleblowing is a key element to the safe, moral and efficient running of a business big or small, and all Canadian businesses should consider a whistle-blowing policy if one is not already in place. A whistleblower policy should protect an employee’s job and anonymity at all stages if an employee decides to report behaviour or practices which they deem illegal or unethical.
What’s a whistleblower system?
An efficient whistle-blowing system complements a company policy by providing the tools for employees to anonymously report information relating to harmful, illegal, unethical or fraudulent activity. By using a system that provides anonymity and protection, an employee is far more likely to report practices in an organization that they are uncomfortable with, particularly if it involves their direct manager or co-workers.
What benefits does a whistleblower system bring?
A good whistle-blower system ensures that staff feel comfortable about reporting misconduct which can dramatically improve the performance of organizations. Higher-levels of management may find out that unethical practices are taking place and are able to repress them before the activities severely damage an organization. In short, whistle-blower systems help prevent issues from going unnoticed by those who can deal with the problem.
A good whistle-blower policy and system which is well communicated can also increase employee trust, leading to higher employee satisfaction, higher employee engagement, improved job performance and lower employee turnover. Knowing that their company has an effective system in place creates an insurance policy for the employee, meaning that they don’t have to deal with ethical dilemmas of whether they should or shouldn’t report something. This, in-turn, helps decrease workplace stress and concern and helps decrease turnover.
A whistleblower system is also mandatory in some industries and can help a business comply with it's regulatory responsibilities. If you’re in an industry where a whistleblower policy and system is mandatory, and you don’t comply by implementing an effective policy and system, this can result in unnecessary penalties.
Please note: It’s important that a whistleblower policy is properly communicated with your employees. This helps ensure that your employees fully understand what the policy is meant for and how it works. It also ensures that employees are not wasting time and resources! Create a clear policy and ensure you communicate effective procedures to every employee at the company.
Should you use an external or internal system?
Although some companies utilize an internal whistleblowing system, an internal system has some major drawbacks. Although a policy may guarantee or promise anonymity, an employee may be fearful of distrustful of using a system that is internal due to the fear that someone will find out, or the information will fall into the wrong hands. This fear can be as extreme as worrying about losing one’s job, depending on what information is being conveyed through the whistle-blowing channels.
Also, if someone discovers illegal or unethical practices taking place in the department or by the individuals that run the whistle-blowing service, it creates a clear problem that renders the entire system and policy redundant.
An external whistleblowing system remedies these problems by allowing the employees confidence that the system is disconnected from the company. This makes employees far more likely to report important sensitive information and leads to effectively preventing possible misconduct and improve the performance within your organization. An external system also reduces company costs of setting up such a system internally.
Please note: Many whistleblower service providers outsource their service to call centres around the world (so you never really know who is accessing your company’s information). Which is why its important to double check with your provider if all submitted information is collected directly by their organization and nobody in between.
The Tandem Team
At the Tandem Team, we offer an anonymous whistleblowing system that can be accessed by phone and through an online form. We are proud to say that our in-house service offers confidentiality by making sure all provided information goes directly from your employees to The Tandem Team and from The Tandem Team to the appropriate individual from your organization.
Our service is anonymous, easy to use and cost effective, which is why we are trusted by many Canada wide organizations.
Contact us today to find out more about our whistleblowing system.
A satisfied and engaged workplace is vital for any businesses success and prosperity. With forecasted skill shortages in the Canadian manufacturing industry, it is more important than ever to decrease employee turnover and invest in your employees for the long term. With this in mind, here are four simple tips for decreasing employee turnover within the manufacturing industry.
Train, train and keep training!
This one seems obvious, and most companies do train their staff on arrival in a new role. However, to keep your staff motivated, capable and reduce workplace hazards, continuous training is necessary! We have found that about 54% of manufacturing employees believe they have the training and resources they need. Which could impact the organizations success because without proper training you will start to find more mistakes in your team’s work, which could lead to increased risk of work place injuries. Promote and encourage a culture that allows your employees the confidence to come to you if they are unsure or feel inadequately trained in a specific area. The bottom line is, an investment in a team of well-trained staff means less money lost through mistakes, injuries and late deliveries.
Most employers recognize that communication is vital. However, this communication needs to be two-way. Give your employees an opportunity to directly communicate with the company and management – a fantastic way of doing this is through daily or weekly meetings, anonymous suggestions box and employee surveys. Surveys can stretch from employee satisfaction surveys which can help determine the cause of issues – and allow you to rectify them fast, to employee exit surveys – allowing you to understand why an employee has left and what you could do to prevent this from happening it in the future. Not only does this help you retain employees and their skills, but it gives employees the satisfaction of knowing that they are being listened to. Remember, It’s essential that all departments are on the same page. The manufacturing industry relies on, and is known for multiple departments working towards one final product, and a lack of communication between departments can mean a loss of time and money. Encourage a culture of cross-communication at all times; cross-departmental meetings can be a fantastic way of doing this.
Humans naturally crave and are motivated by recognition and feedback. Many employees feel undervalued at work, so treat your employees or coworkers like equals, simple gestures like saying “Hi” will make their day. Whether being told they have done a good job or even constructive criticism, recognition is key to showing an interest in your employee’s work. It makes them feel valued, appreciated, and necessary. So, spice up your one to ones and kickstart feedback sessions and meetings with staff. You need your feedback to be specific, constructive and useful. Nevertheless, sometimes a good “well done” at the right time can be a great boost to an employee’s confidence. Oh, and don’t forget that a simple birthday card will make an employee feel valued, or participation in celebratory events such as company Christmas parties and providing bonuses will keep your team happier for longer.
Feedback is not the only thing; incentives like an excellent benefits plan allow your employees to feel looked after and their health valued. Particularly in the manufacturing industry, it’s not uncommon for employees to leave due to a sub-par benefits plan!
Hiring the right talent
The previous three points rely on the fact that your hiring process is suited and specialized for your needs. Create a method that attracts candidates who believe in the company’s purpose, values, and ethics. If employees can’t or are not willing to invest in you and the company, you will have a hard time investing in them! As difficult as it can be, hiring the right team that is compatible with your organization will provide excellent results further down the line in output and turnover. Consider a recruitment agency or service that specializes in your industry if you do not have time to create a specialized recruitment process! It all starts with the right employees for your organization, and then you can build from there.
What do you think?
In the Canadian manufacturing industry, it’s not easy for organizations to find qualified employees that are the right fit for the organization. When you do, it’s essential to use the above steps to ensure you keep them invested and happy; and do everything you can to keep them!
This list of suggested ways to keep your turnover low and your employees satisfied isn’t extensive or the whole answer! We would love to know what you think. What are your thoughts? Comments are very much welcomed below!
Employee feedback is important. But what’s even more important is honest employee feedback. Many business owners are quick to assume that online surveys are about the only viable way of collecting such information. However, this is not always the case.
Whilst it’s hard to underappreciate the convenience of online questionnaires, paper-based employee surveys are still going strong, and here are just a few solid reasons why:
Of course, paper surveys are not ideal for all organizations, and there are several factors to consider such as additional effort in planning and processing. However, for many businesses, opting for paper surveys is well worth the effort, yielding amazing response rates and helping connect with the employees.
Hiring a third party that specializes in Paper Employee Surveys is always the best way to receive the most honest employee feedback possible. Which is of course what matters the most.
Industries that can benefit from paper surveys:
- Health Care
What do you think?
Use the comments area below and share your experiences or advice on this topic.
Implementing an Employee Suggestion Box is one of the most efficient ways to collect and analyze valuable feedback, as well as identify practical ways to improve your business. Here are the 3 reasons to start using an Employee Suggestion Box today:
1. New perspective
Using an Employee Suggestion Box can help you obtain surprising yet practical tips on how to improve profitability in your business. Many times, employee suggestions can provide major revelations that if addressed, could significantly improve business operations.
2. Improved engagement
Seeking employees’ opinion is an excellent way to improve engagement and start important conversations. Acknowledging the suggestions and implementing the best ones demonstrates that you value your employees’ opinions, making them more likely to commit more to the business.
3. Driving innovation
Contrary to popular belief, collecting employees’ opinions isn’t all about workplace issues. Oftentimes, after implementing an Employee Suggestion Box, business owners receive innovative suggestions for new products and services! In addition, employees can offer valuable input when it comes to developing effective workplace policies, which is another way of driving innovation with the help from an Employee Suggestion Box.
To get the most of your Employee Suggestion Box, it’s extremely important to set it up correctly! The best approach is to hire a third party to take care, which will increase your chances of receiving unbiased, honest opinions. Employees tend to reveal more information when they are confident their input is anonymous and protected, and in general, they feel more comfortable giving information to a third party than to their own company.
Are you trying to make a difference and improve employee satisfaction and engagement within your organization?
Here are some fun and useful ways that can help you make an overwhelming impact.
1. Greet all staff: As soon as you run into a coworker or manager make sure to give a sincere smile, say "Hi" and greet them by name. This will help get their day off to a positive start.
2. Don't forget your indirect team: Be sure that you are communicating and showing appreciation regularly to your indirect team as well. This demonstrates that you value the contributions of every single member of your organization.
3. Introducing healthy snack days: Having healthy snacks in the workplace can lead to improved focus as well as higher energy levels. Picking up some healthy snacks for the lunch room can be a great first step.
4. Make Fridays and Weekends more fun: Organize fun events on Fridays or weekends such as special lunches or afternoon activities. Contests and prize giveaways are a great way to end the work week and will help your employees bond, relax, and form strong relationships.
5. Give gifts: Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and any other special occasions can be marked with personal gifts of recognition. Lottery tickets, gift cards, dinner vouchers are just some examples of the endless ways you can show appreciation for their hard work.
6. Celebrate holidays together at work: Celebrate special occasions within the workplace with a free lunch, gifts and maybe even some decorations. Make the workplace feel more like a family by celebrating holidays together.
7. Workplace upgrade: Ask your staff for suggestions on possible workplace improvements to help them feel more comfortable and productive. Suggestions such as more comfortable chairs or a coat of fresh paint can make a big difference.
8. Award your staff: Small competitions within the workplace can go a long way. By recognizing team members that go above and beyond their job description, you will build future leaders and stronger teams.
9. Free workplace massages: Offering free 15 to 45 minute massages during work hours can be a quick and easy way to help reduce stress. Rest assured your staff will thank you for it.
(Hire a profesional)
10. Say "Thank You" in person: Make sure to say "Thank You" frequently whenever an employee or team deserves a pat on the back. Those two simple words can make a huge difference in your employee's day. So go ahead and thank your staff in person for a job well done. They deserve it.