Effective Whistleblowing programs

According to Wim Vandekerckhove Principal Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at the University of Greenwich, the key – is perceived responsiveness. Where people feel like their action made a difference. In behavioral terms – that means – it was positively reinforced. He says that companies should really think about ways they can be responsive without violating legal parameters.There is a 10 minute interview with him on his research below. Looking at speak up programs – they know what doesn’t work – he looked at what does – and it’s consistent with what I teach in my programs.

He recommends multiple channels through which to speak up – with specific emphasis on casual channels – where you don’t report – but where employees can ask questions about whether something is ethical or not in a confidential way.  What he calls integrity questions. Where people can ask questions, and get counseling on how to proceed without actually reporting someone.   Because the feedback is immediate and usually helpful – people feel like action was taken, they were taken seriously and it reinforces and builds trust – the concern doesn’t go into a black hole where – nothing happens.  One company publishes the Q&A for other employees.  There are no legal restrictions on what you can talk about.

This “reporting without reporting” can also help identify patterns of concern for the organization. This is important because – the unwanted behavior – is often a pattern of behavior and seeing those patterns is crucial to helping stop it.

Always nice when the research in one area validates the findings in another. In this case – what he found was that speak up processes and mechanisms that positively reinforce people for speaking out – works.  Which is exactly what the behavioral science approach predicts. And it’s exactly what I teach you should be doing in my online courses on how to stop bullying & harassment in the workplace

Learn more about taking a behavioral approach to the problem of bullying & harassment – here: https://humanistlearning.com/category/bullyingharassment/