Whistle blowing is an act of exposing malpractice or misbehavior committed within a company or an organization. But often, employees or people within a group are hesitant in exposing anomalies, or in this case, to perform the role of a whistle blower, is that because often, they feel that expressing these concerns is an act of disloyalty towards the group. In addition, expositions like such will make them feel harassed or victimized.
Ethics in business would command that companies must set up formal laws, policies and procedures regarding whistle blowing. As such, these policies must be formulated in such a way that it protects the well being of the whistle blower, and at the same time must ensure that proper investigation should follow. Strict compliance from officers, management and director should be followed to avoid retaliations.
The Galvatrens case proved that inept whistle blowing policies might cause severe damage in the companies business profitability, stability and reputation. The company’s inability to properly respond to the expose has rendered the company a lawsuit that clearly questioned their reputation and obviously hindered the officers to function perfectly well. Thus the need arises for them to create policies that shall help them avoid the reoccurrence of such incident.
The Galvatrens incident were due to several flaws: first, they overlooked the idea of not having a non-formal policy for whistle blowing, thus rejecting the idea of not having a strictly formal company ombudsman that shall be responsible for employee misconducts; second, the officer that the whistle blower approached, didn’t make enough effort to address the issue even if he thinks that it wasn’t grave enough; and third, complacency on this manner allowed the whistle blower to suffer “retaliations” that prompted him for legal actions.
Though the performance reviews on him stated that he was indeed under performing for the past months, the incident of the expose had him thinking that the allegations he made retaliated against him. Several measures must be taken in order to correct the flaws rendered by the company, so as to prevent the incident from happening again. First, the company must start correcting the incident by getting in depth with the investigation. The board or the management must initiate an investigation that will prove or disprove the allegations.
The board must quickly respond to the complain or to the matter being raised with further measures. The failure of Galvatrens’ COO to immediately respond to the concern served as one of the most crucial stages to the complain. Had he been able to respond to it immediately, backfiring from the issue might have been less dreaded to the company’s reputation. Another measure to be taken is that, the board or management shall ensure that the identity of the whistle blower must at all times be confidential.
In comparison to the Galvatrens case, the identity of the whistle blower was not kept strictly confidential, and the person at whom he confided wasn’t able to accommodate his concern and instead, passed him off to someone else. This incident made the concern more complicated as it lead towards incidents that the complainant thought was maliciously motivated and was incurred in connection with his expose. Therefore, this flaw in the company’s whistle blowing policies is a call for them to look at stricter methods that shall ensure confidentiality.
In connection to confidentiality, the company shall offer employment protection to those who will serve as whistle blower. Proven that allegations that were made were true, the employee who reported fraud or misconduct shall be protected from any retaliations that he may suffer. Moreover, the company must respond to their ineptness to interact with their stakeholders. In the Galvatrens case, the board and management weren’t aware of the fraudulent transactions made by one of their sales employees.
This was done because probably, their customers and stakeholders were benefiting from those transactions, thus it rendered them the thought on not to disclose such misconducts. Given this fact, the company should create measures that can offer their clients and stakeholders better deals and offers that can convince them to become cooperative into dealing with such situations. The company must always be able to maintain an open relationship and communication line with their clients and stakeholders for them to be able to efficiently monitor transactions that will benefit both of the parties.
Another important factor, the company must have a formal council that shall ensure the effectiveness and responsiveness from the complaints. The council shall serve as the proper avenue for raising such concerns. This council shall be held responsible in ensuring the confidentiality of the identity and protection of the whistle blower, quick response for the complaint received, create a direct contact with the board and management, and to provide sanctions if the allegations made are proven to be true.
On the part of the management and the board, they too must play an important role in whistle blowing policies for the company. They must at all times, maintain an open line towards each other and towards their employees for them to be able to bridge the communication gap. On the part of the Galvantrens COO who chose to not take the allegations seriously and instead pass it off to someone else, this must be a lesson learned. Any allegations made must at all times be kept private and seriously.
And always, immediate response must also be undertaken. Any complains or allegations made must be reported to the board or the management for them to be able to make something out of the situation to avoid more damaging results such as the lawsuit that they received from a mishandled whistle blower. Whistle blowing experiences must not serve as hindrances to the company’s growth, rather it should be put to good use by interacting with whistle blowers and learn from these circumstances.
Most importantly, transparency, accountability and commitment to the employees and stakeholders must at all times be employed by the company’s management and board in order to avoid such mishaps. The vital role of the officers is as vital as the role that employees and stakeholders play in a company. Thus, cooperativeness and loyalty towards one another must always be kept and present for the benefit of both parties.
Blowing the Whistle. Available from http://whistleblowing. org/ Hasson, Ralph. “Why Didn’t We Know? ” Harvard Business Review, April 2007, 33-37. bHumberside Whistle Blowing Authority. Available from http://www. humbersidefire. gov. uk/documents/Fire_Authority/Whistle_Blowing_Policy. pdf Three Rivers Distirct Council: Whistle Blowing Polivy. Available from http://www. threerivers. gov. uk/GetResource. aspx? file=whistleblowing%20policy. doc Whistle Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy. Available from http://www. whistleblower. org/doc/2007/WHISTLE%20BLOWING%20POLICY%20-%20AFDB. doc Whistle Blowing Policy. Available from http://www. westwiltshire. gov. uk/index/council/your-council/contact-us/complaints/whistle-blowing-policy. htm
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