In this blog, Protect Business support Executive Grace Wilkin, highlights the vital importance for employers of setting up an effective whistleblowing system and three key ways Protect’s training can help.
Equipping your managers with the ability to receive and handle a whistleblowing concern effectively is vital in identifying risk, discovering potential wrongdoing and protecting staff. Here are three key ways our trainings can help provide your staff with the support they need.
- Help your Line Manager to identify a concern – The majority of callers to Protect’s advice line have already raised a concern internally and received little or no response, or a negative response. Training will help you use the early warning system that your staff can provide, reducing risk, wrongdoing and misconduct within your organisation. Line managers are regularly named in a whistleblowing policy as the first port of call for a concern, but often do not recognise a whistleblowing concern, or know what their employer expects them to do with the concern. We know from our own research that many whistleblowers will only raise a concern once, so the organisation has a very small window to identify the concern and to act on it. Newer staff are also more likely to raise a concern, so it’s important to train throughout the employment cycle including at induction.
- Know the difference between whistleblowing and a grievance – Whistleblowing has different considerations and implications to a grievance, so it is vital that managers understand their role and can act appropriately. Having managers that are trained appropriately in triaging, investigating and identifying whistleblower victimisation will also help demonstrate to staff and stakeholders that you take whistleblowing seriously and are a transparent and accountable organisation.
- Building staff trust in the workplace – Staff need training in understanding what whistleblowing is, why it is important, what channels are available to them, and how the organisation will protect them against victimisation. All managers and whistleblowing teams need to understand the importance of thanking a whistleblower, and give regular updates and feedback to the whistleblower during the investigation. It’s also important to understand the need to risk assess potential victimisation, and monitor for this during and after the investigation.
Protects uses its decades of experience from the advice line, talking to whistleblowers and how they have been treated, in developing our training services. We have a popular suite of courses aimed at those responsible for their whistleblowing framework that spans the whistleblowing journey from handling a concern and conducting an investigation, to ensuring that the whistleblower is not victimised or retaliated against. We run this training suite regularly and also offer other masterclasses including Whistleblowing & Sexual Harassment, Whistleblowing and ESG, and Financial Services Whistleblowers’ Champions. We also offer tailored training for organisations. With an average score of 9/10 and an average increase in understanding increasing from 6/10 before a masterclass to 9/10 after, we have helped hundreds of organisations.
“Content is very valuable – well informed and relevant. Both presenters were very personable and knowledgeable” – Local Government delegate