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Compliance Reporting: Encourage Your Team to Take Action

Get More Reports! Create a Compliance Environment That Encourages Action

Many organizations grapple with the question of whether all compliance issues are being properly addressed. Well, the proof is in the pudding… or in this case the reporting.

When it comes to compliance reporting, the most common industry benchmark hovers around 1.4%, meaning that out of every 100 employees there is 1 compliance violation being reported.

This might seem sufficient until you realize that 60% of compliance violations don’t get reported, and 80% of people in organizations that have a track record of being unethical don’t even bother to pick up the phone to call.

To improve the overall health of your organization it’s vital that more reports are coming through all the time. Don’t just go by the low-end industry benchmark. Aim for more! Check out the 2020 benchmark report below:

Why People Don’t Report Violations

It might just be that you’re a perfect organization and nothing ever goes wrong.

Eh, that’s pretty unlikely.

Even for super upstanding companies, many compliance violations aren’t reported due to four reasons:

1. People aren’t aware of the opportunity

Have you made it clear that employees are free to report stuff? It sounds basic but many organizations fail to make reporting channels clear to their team. You can solidify your methodology of reporting through proper training sessions with your team to show them how the process should take place.

Don’t just show people how to report, also make it clear that they can report violations without fear of consequences.

2. Painful reporting process? People don’t want to deal with it

Another blocker could be that your process is kind of a pain. If employees think they will have to go through too many channels to voice their grievance, they simply won’t report it and the culture will suffer.

If your team is too wary to report a broken office refrigerator, do you really expect them to report a serious ethics violation when they see it?

A less painful process doesn’t mean a less thorough process, but it’s important to think about making the reporter’s life easier.

3. Management doesn’t care

If the top of your organization doesn’t care, why should a reporter feel safe coming forward with anything?

When employees get the impression that their managers aren’t looking out for their best interests, they keep information to themselves. This can lead to further ethics violations and provides a surefire way to pollute the office culture.

4. Fear of retaliation

We’ve talked about anonymity rates in another piece, but this also applies to reporting in general. If employees are too insistent on being made “anonymous” then they are likely frightened of retaliation. This is especially prevalent when reporting ethics violations by higher-ups.

Creating a safe environment means that employees can come forward more willingly with reports.

What is your Ideal Compliance Reporting Metric?

While many organizations shoot for a reporting percentage of 1%, ComplianceLine routinely sets its own benchmark with roughly 4 reports per 100 employees. That’s nearly 4x the industry average.

More reporting is always better. It’s a true indication that all severities of compliance issues are being brought forward through the proper channels.

Start a dialogue with your team and make it clear that your organization values and encourages their input.

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