To access the full findings from our 2016 EMEA & APAC Ethics & Compliance Whistleblowing Hotline Benchmark Report, download the report here.
Benchmarking your organisation’s data against your peers across EMEA & APAC provides critical insights into the health of your ethics and compliance programmes. Our new report gives the most comprehensive picture of whistleblowing hotline and reporting systems and their effectiveness in EMEA & APAC.
This year’s analysis of our data from our participating EMEA and APAC whistleblowing and fraud hotline clients revealed several key findings compliance professionals in EMEA and APAC can use to benchmark their programme’s performance and move toward predictive risk mitigation. To see all of our findings, download the report here.
- Report Volume is Very Low
In the last two years, less than half of one percent of all employees made reports that were captured by their employers. Of those reports, 72 percent were HR, Diversity and Workplace Respect related cases. Even those companies who track reports from all sources (web, whistleblowing hotline, open door, walk-in, mobile and email), had less than half a percent of employees reporting.
While we recognise there are various restrictions in the EU regarding the types of reports that can be accepted (these are typically limited to accounting, auditing, finance and misappropriation of assets) there was a high percentage of HR-related reports in the system.
Research has shown that the primary reasons why employees do not report are:
- Lack of awareness of the available whistleblowing reporting mechanisms
- Belief that nothing will be done about their concern
- Fear of retaliation
- Higher Levels of Anonymous Reporting May Indicate Employee Insecurity
Anonymous reporting has increased over last year and is higher than expected for EMEA and APAC. From 2014 to 2015 we saw an increase of six percentage points from 59 percent to 65 percent of reports being received anonymously to the whistleblowing hotline.
Knowing there are limitations in some EU countries on the types of issues that may be reported anonymously, we expected to find a lower rate. Higher levels of anonymous reporting may indicate a lack of awareness or trust in an organisation’s reporting system or fear of retaliation as noted above as a common concern which results in low numbers of reports.
A higher level of Anonymous Reports may also make it more difficult to investigate concerns. This is particularly true if reporters do not follow-up on their initial report via the reporting system using their assigned identification numbers.
- Low Anonymous Reporter Follow-Up Rate Reveal Concerns
Anonymous reporters are not staying engaged in the reporting process. Only 21 to 22 percent of anonymous reporters are following up on their initial whistleblowing hotline reports. This makes it more difficult to thoroughly investigate a report if the company is unable to receive responses to posted questions.
If employees were well educated on this process, lack of follow-up could be a red flag indicator for cultural health. Tracking this metric is important for identifying training and communications opportunities—as well as identifying potential cultural weak spots.
To review the rest of the findings from our 2016 EMEA & APAC Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report, get your copy here.