Ethics reporting rates have increased since 2010, new report shows
- Navex Global, an ethics and compliance firm, released a report showing that the number of incidents employees reported was up and that closure for incident cases was the fastest since 2010. The 2017 Ethics & Compliance Hotline and Incident Management Benchmark Report found that employee reporting increased by 56%.
- Case-closure time fell by 9%, from 46 days in 2015 to 42 days in 2016. The report concludes that employers are using additional resources to manage and close cases faster than previously. Also, the report shows that incident median rates rose from 1.3 per 100 employees in 2015 to 1.4 per 100 employees in 2016.
- The benchmark report focused on the way reports are submitted. Submissions through a combination of channels — including via managers, email or letters — increased by 58%, more than hotline and web reporting channels alone.
The spike in employee reporting means employers are doing a good job promoting the process for reporting corporate misconduct and building employees’ trust. “Unified incident management systems” also are cited for contributing to the rise in employee reporting. The increase is “part of the new norm,” Navex Global officials told SHRM.
Workplaces look to HR to lead ethics initiatives. In recent company scandals at Wells Fargo, Uber and THINX, it's clear HR either wasn't present or didn't play a strong role in preventing said problems. HR must be brought to the forefront of the business to both ensure ethics violations don't occur and to send a signal to employees that ethics complaints will be respected and heard.
In an ethical organization, leadership needs to be kept accountable. The Navex report authors recommend employers make investigating incidents more efficient, use a unified incident management system and include more investigation resources.