The 3 C's of More Effective Ethics Hotline Reporting

You don’t just need more reports from staff, you need more timely, actionable and detailed reporting.

Context: It’s not just about what users want to say, it’s about what you need to know. Details that can dramatically impact an ethics or fraud investigation are often missed when users are left fill out a form on their own, send an email to a generic departmental email inbox or when operators (or forms and bots) use a basic script. With the benefit of critical context up front, you can reduce the time and cost of research, structure interviews that more quickly build insight and close investigations more quickly, reducing effort, risks and costs.

Confidentiality: Respecting anonymity and confidentiality of those who reach out via your ethics hotline builds trust with those who speak up, helping ensure they are forthcoming with details. As important, respecting confidentiality will in the long term increase confidence in others who might otherwise stay silent due to concerns about retaliation.

Convenience: Most everyone appreciates that people just don’t make phone calls as much as in the past and are looking for a quick, convenient app-based interaction. The workforce is also increasingly mobile, making it less likely they will be able to easily find the traditional online form that is often buried in amongst the company webpages. For more evidence as to why a mobile-focused user experience needs to be a vital part of your ethics hotline ecosystem, in 2015 The New School for Social Research, New York published research showing that precision, disclosure and satisfaction all increased when automated interviews were conducted on mobile devices. (For more details on how this study applies to anonymous employee hotlines, see our blog post from earlier this week.)