Overcoming 4 Challenges of Hotline Reporting


Most companies provide employees with a formal system to ask questions about policies or to raise allegations of wrongdoing. Data from these systems can help a company detect problem issues or locations early and can tell a company a great deal about its culture and risks. However, attempts to turn the data from a reporting system into clear and useful information can present several challenges. These include:


How many reports is the right number for a company of a given size? Is the fact that 50% of the helpline contacts received by a company are submitted anonymously a good thing or a problem? Should a company in a certain industry be getting so many HR-related reports? Data without context serves no real purpose. But what sort of context is there for this kind of information?


What, if anything, does a company’s Helpline data say about the effectiveness of its ethics and compliance program? If a lot of reports are received related to a certain kind of issue, does this mean employees have a good grasp of the issue, or does it mean that they are grasping at straws? Was the company’s training effective in educating employees about what should be reported and when? Does the fact that very few of the reports received by a company were substantiated mean that few violations are occurring?

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