The most important step in misconduct is the first one - actually reporting it. So often employees who experience or witness misconduct don't feel able to speak up. Working out who, how and when they report it to their organisation can be a challenge in itself. A challenge that is easily fixed.
In this post #Metoo, post-Covid era, awareness and understanding of what workplace bullying and misconduct actually is, has grown. This is a much needed first step.
But awareness needs action. And action is desperately needed. So often, misconduct goes unreported. A global study by research firm, Gartner, found that 60% of workplace misconduct goes unreported. The reasons are many. A lot of people, due to lack of confidence in the system, lack of knowledge about how to report, or fear of reprisal remain silent.
Staying silent harms more than the bottom line, it harms people and it harms a company’s culture. Deloitte found that an estimated $2.6billion in lost productivity is attributed to workplace sexual harrasment annually. A culture of openness, fairness and justice helps employees stay mentally healthier, sees staff retention increase by over 40% and creates a culture of inclusion at every level.
This is where tech can help. Speak up tools not only tackle and manage misconduct head on, but they can also reduce the fear and the friction felt by both the employees and company. An online platform that links directly into an organisation's digital architecture, Speak up tools allow employees to report any issues they experience at work through a safe and when needed, anonymous environment.
Harnessing tech for employer and employee advantage - 10 reasons why Speak up tools can transform company culture.
1. Empower and increase the number of employees who take action.
Speak up tools help employees come forward anonymously, removing the fear of stigma or repercussion for those who either experience or witness misconduct in the workplace.
Trust is crucial if misconduct is to be reported. Research by global non-profit, Catalyst, found that building trust between employees and employers is more than just a feeling, it’s an action experienced by employees. It’s characterised by five key hallmarks, including psychological safety to take risks, specifically feeling safe enough to address issues or take risks. A company’s ability to provide a safe process to report issues directly impacts perception of trust in a company. A Speak up platform not only provides a safe channel, but supports an employee indiscriminately and with no judgment through the process of reporting misconduct, thereby improving psychological safety and trust between employee and organisation.
2. Nip negative behaviour in the bud and limit negative fall out on the wider company culture.
When employees speak up earlier, issues are identified and can be addressed before they escalate. This reduces the possibility of bad behavior impacting more employees, can prevent problems reaching the formal disciplinary stage or litigation and reduces associated negative impact on the broader culture and the subsequent impact on the larger business.
3. Remove the ‘friction’ that prevents people reporting misconduct.
Many people are dissuaded from speaking up because they are unsure of the process. Often, simply not knowing who they should contact and what they should put in an email stops people from reporting something. Speak up tools take away these pain points and streamline reporting into a clear, anonymous process. Speak up tools are also available at any time of day or night. People can find a time and a platform that works for them, be it ‘on the go’, on a mobile or quietly at home from a laptop.
4.Let nothing slip through the cracks
With the volume and pace of most work schedules, incidents can slip through cracks or end up becoming sidelined. This is not only harmful to individuals affected but exposes the business to additional liability risk should issues escalate in severity on their watch. Speak up tools ensure that every single report is properly allocated, tracked and addressed by the best person.
5. Reduce the impact of misconduct on your resources and capacity.
Speak up tools streamline the process of dealing with misconduct. They ensure that your resources and people are not depleted by dealing with reports and grievances. A Speak up platform’s robust allocation and tracking of a misconduct incident expedite any needed reporting process, but also crucially enable an issue to be dealt with earlier. This means less formal procedure is needed and less resources are needed to manage the misconduct.
6. 24/7 support and signposting for employees.
Many speak up tools enable employees to reach the most appropriate support for their needs - from accessing self-help materials, to anonymous reporting forms and connections to HR teams. But best of all - Speak up tools never sleep! They’re online 24/7 so employees always have access to support when they need it most.
7. Create a positive, open culture that retains and actually attracts talent.
Research shows that when a company provides a clear, easily accessible and transparent process for reporting misconduct, culture improves. Not only does culture improve, but the wellbeing of staff and their perception of the company remains high, leading to long term loyalty and talent retention.
8. Build real-time culture mapping of your company.
No more waiting around for employee survey results which only offer a snapshot of the past. Through a central admin dashboard, many speak up tools allow you to track culture and sentiment in your organisation in real time. Every report created contributes to actionable insights and can help you to identify emerging trends in culture. This in turn allows you to take early preventative action if any issues are identified.
9. Real-time culture mapping of your company.
Continuously incorporating new best practice and policies when it comes to culture and workplace misconduct is hard. Speak up platforms evolve with the company, incorporating the latest research and best practice into the platform, equipping your HR and D&I professionals to tackle a company’s specific challenges with the most advanced, appropriate toolkit.
10. Protect sensitive employee and company misconduct data.No more spreadsheets and folders. Speak up tools like InChorus are built to prioritise security and privacy above all else. This means that the highly sensitive, private data containing allegations of in-work misconduct in your company are safeguarded and strictly guarded on a need to know basis.
Finding the right tool to support your company’s culture, mission and momentum can transform the experience of your employees.
At InChorus we have developed a unique, multi-platform speak up tool that gives companies and employers a mechanism to truly understand and take effective action to improve workplace culture.
As well as an easy to use reporting tool (available via Slack, MS teams and web app), InChorus also offers users a ‘Support Hub’ to provide real-time support 24/7 - with signposting and self help resources to suit individual circumstances.
Data captured via InChorus gives employers rich insight into culture within an organisation, including any problematic behavioural trends to address before they escalate further.
InChorus believes many voices do move the needle and that every individual can contribute to positive culture change. By empowering every employee to report even small incidents, a detailed and powerful picture of company culture is painted. InChorus’ speak up tech enables a company to create and see this fuller picture. From this full ‘picture’ a company can take action to ultimately create an open, safe and productive company culture.
Book a demo with InChorus’ Speak up platform here.