Your 24/7 Whistleblowing Hotline
Discover how a streamlined and effective digital whistleblowing hotline can empower whistleblowers to speak up, and how your company can benefit from itGet Started
Whether it be for your HR or compliance needs, being equipped with a whistleblowing hotline is an important topic for many compliance professionals.
Legislators are advocating for more regulations, with the most recent being the EU Whistleblowing Directive, which EU countries are in the process of implementing into their national law. This initiative often brings up the topic of a whistleblowing hotline. But what is a whistleblowing hotline? Why your company should have one? What are the questions to ask when designing your whistleblowing hotline? And what are the characteristics of successful whistleblowing hotlines?
Why you should have a whistleblowing hotline
Increase the accessibility of your whistleblowing system
Not everyone has access to web or a smartphone technology to report wrongdoing. Open up a phone channel to make it easy and secure for everyone to submit their report.
Empower all members of your organization, wherever they are
Make it available in every country in which you operate, in all the local languages, 24/7.
Preserve the security and accuracy of all reports
Make sure the reports made through the hotline are provided with no modification or interpretation whatsoever.
Leverage data across all channels
Manage cases in exactly the same way you do your web reports and benefit from comprehensive data no matter the channels whistleblowers use.
The reporter’s journey
When a person decides to report wrongdoing by phone, they call a local or toll free number provided by Whispli on behalf of their organisation. Their call is picked up by a digital hotline which provides guidance in local languages to help them record a message as detailed as possible. They can listen to their message as many times as they want until they feel the message is ok to be sent to the organisation. They are then given a link and a code to follow up on their report online and communicate with the case managers, if they chose to remain anonymous.
The case manager’s workflow
The organisation receives the recording and its transcription directly in Whispli and can process the case as they would with a web report. The report is available in the system, and case managers can get to work on an action plan within their usual workflow and clarify submission details with the informant either by phone if the informant provided their phone number or through the Whispli platform. Cases submitted through the hotline are included in the analytics to provide comprehensive data for all reporting purposes.
Keep in touch with the reporter after their whistleblowing hotline submission
Once a digital hotline report is submitted, a unique code will be shared with the informant to reach their personal chat box to follow up with important information and keep updated on progress. Each report that comes through can be a dynamic investigation as case managers keep in touch with reporters through their anonymous safe inbox. It is unlikely that in the case of a traditional hotline report, there would ever be an opportunity to follow up and continue to build a dynamic investigation around cases. This is a risky situation that could cost your organisation valuable time, reputation, satisfaction, safety or financial costs and burden. Keeping in touch with informants and building valuable relationships within a secure platform feels natural inside Whispli. This inbox is forever accessible to add evidence, investigate, follow up and manage.
Offer all the languages you need
Simply have all questions spoken in the informant’s most comfortable language and translated back to you. Follow up each conversation through an automatically translated inbox in Whispli so you don’t miss a thing and language doesn’t become a barrier in building strong relationships. It is as simple as clicking a number on the phone to be guided into a language that will be most comfortable and impactful for the informant’s experience but equally valuable to the case manager. This way informants and case managers can have the greatest opportunity to have their voices heard and cases investigated.
Provide a whistleblowing hotline available 24/7
The whistleblowing hotline does not require a person to monitor calls coming in all day and every day. With the interactive voice response system anytime and anywhere reports can be made. You can genuinely have a 24/7/365 system that can take calls and set up a safe inbox for informants to provide secure and anonymous information. Reports can be submitted any time of the year and be swiftly submitted into Whispli’s secure case management system to begin the investigation process in minutes.
Create a custom flow to provide optimal guidance to whistleblowers
It doesn’t matter how niche or complicated your industry may be. With a digital whistleblowing hotline it is possible to customise each person’s experience based on what counts as relevant to them. Questions are customisable to help each organisation discover the details and insight relevant to their goals. Office, construction, retail or technology workers can each have their own voice and questions pertaining to their needs. Choose from hundreds of impressive AI designed voices or personalise each question by recording a real human voice. This can give an extra dimension of a genuine human interaction if preferred.
Process hotline cases through the same workflow as your other channels
Never notice a difference in the way reports are managed in the Whispli platform. Whether it is a digital hotline submission or classic Whispli submission, as a case manager or informant your experience will be the same. Simply put, a report is submitted and an anonymous inbox is made available for each submission irrelevant of its origin or time submitted. Internal processes are followed and cases can be managed in the same manner.
Set it up in just a few weeks with a local number for each country
Maximise access and allow each country to phone through their local number. You are increasing your chances of receiving valuable information when a convenient system is available in a familiar fashion to informants. It is a simple and fast process to link different countries’ numbers to whistleblowing hotlines and ensure a consistent case manager and informant experience to handle reports within a safe inbox. Provide each country a dedicated number that will guide them through a safe, secure, dynamic and familiar reporting experience.
Traditional whistleblowing hotlines are not aligned with the evolution of phone usage
The communication methods in the digital age have dramatically changed the way in which people like to communicate and have their voices heard. The most common way for communication to take place is through text messaging, people are becoming less and less likely to pick up a phone and call someone directly but will regularly choose to send a text message. People simply feel more comfortable calling or texting in their own time while remaining anonymous and without feeling judged. This however does not mean there is not a preference for people to call and make a report. A digital whistleblowing hotline takes away the pressure of speaking to a real person and the fear of being judged. It allows reporters to remain anonymous and feel safe knowing they can listen back to what they have said and make changes to their submission. After submitting a report through a digital whistleblowing hotline reporters are able to follow up their report and continue a conversation through a secure anonymous inbox.
Some traditional whistleblowing hotlines take ages to put reporters through to a real person
Traditional whistleblowing hotlines pool their staff to make their services more profitable. If several people call at the same time, they are put on hold until an agent is available. Explaining an unethical issue can take a while and informants can often stay on hold for up to 20 minutes. Once their call is finally answered, depending on the language they speak, they may be asked to wait again, before a translator is connected to the call. This can be discouraging and off-putting, particularly when feeling vulnerable or nervous. When calling a digital hotline language choices are instantaneous at the press of a button, there is no waiting and a clear voice to understand how to report safely.
The experience of the whistleblower highly depends on who answers the call
After connecting and discussing with organisations across different industries we found people feel more inclined to connect on sensitive and personal matters to a virtual hotline. This removes the anxiety and anticipation of who might be waiting to answer the call on the other side of the phone. With a digital hotline, informants are able to have their voice heard consistently without the influence of a real human on the other side. Depending on the quality of the call centre training, and its ability to retain staff, the people in charge of collecting reports will have the right skills to handle the situation with care… or not. It often takes a lot of courage to report a matter and it can take one poor experience with one untrained call center agent to make someone never want to speak up again. Digitalising this process removes risk of poor experience with a manned hotline and gives the flexibility of reporting to the informant.
One single solution to manage all cases, no matter how the reports were disclosed
Traditional hotline systems are not designed to be integrated within an organisation and are generally quite one dimensional on their own, usually being just one indifferent tool. What Whispli can do by integrating within your organisation is allowing room for creativity by personalising your organisation’s experience and promoting a healthy working culture.
You’re able to integrate a virtual hotline, mobile app, desktop and email submissions into the one system to make each user feel comfortable. All cases are managed in a secure centralised location to ensure confidentiality, consistency and continued communication in each case.
Digital whistleblowing hotlines are readily available in every language you may need, 24/7
With a digital whistleblowing hotline, calls can be made and answered immediately 24/7-365 which allows enormous flexibility between people making reports and case managers. You can provide guidance in all the languages you need, even uncommon dialects.
Whistleblowers can review what they said before they submit their report
Make it easy on the informant without having to have their report perfect the first time. Provide the comfort of being able to review and listen to what has been said and make changes as many times as needed. Informants feel no pressure from a real person on the other side waiting for them to answer or finish their answers, they can report in their own time, and start over if need be.
There is no alteration of the whistleblower’s disclosure
There is no space for personal interpretation, misunderstanding or mistaken input for reports submitted via digital hotline. Each chosen word that is said by the whistleblower is submitted through to Whispli’s case management system and can never be changed or edited.
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"Whispli is hands down the most watertight way to catch and manage wrongdoing in your organization. If you're not using it, then you're not serious about preventing fraud or corruption."
Group Risk & Compliance Manager, Topshop Topman