Compliance reporting needs a value proposition

After years of companies working to build a strong speak-up culture, a new report concludes that many employees still need motivation that may surprise their employers when it comes to saying something when they see something: They would need to know if reporting misconduct will benefit them. According to a recently published study of technological search and consulting firm Gartner, just 54% of employees said they believed reporting misconduct would be good for them personally.

Gartner’s findings would show that principles alone are simply not enough incentive to report violations and poor conduct, senior researcher Chris Audet says. “It may surprise many compliance leaders to know that just 54% of employees felt that reporting misconduct is the right thing to do,” Audet said. “Employees understand it is what they are supposed to do but, in many cases, they aren’t sure that doing so will work out well for them or their teams, so they choose to keep quiet.”

In other words, if companies want their compliance and ethics programs to be successful in rooting out misconduct, they need to take a pragmatic approach in addition to an idealistic one according to the report. That means ensuring that strong non-retaliation and reporting practices and policies are in place but that employees understand there is a direct benefit to them in blowing the whistle on wrongdoing as an analysis of Gartner’s findings on Corporate Compliance Insights comments.

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