Ever since Karin and I sketched out our first ideas for WhistleB, our vision has been to become the de facto standard for digital whistleblowing services. We saw a gap in the market that needed to be filled with a flexible, cost-effective and modern whistleblowing alternative – but above all a whistleblowing service that provided customers with the highest security and protection of whistleblowers.
Whistleblower anonymity is at the heart of getting greater value from a whistleblowing service. The whistleblower will feel safer if they can remain anonymous, thus they dare to report their concerns and the company thereby receives the much-needed information about suspected misconduct. Secure, technology-based solutions are the way to ensure anonymity throughout the process from reporting, case management, investigation and closure.
Digital whistleblowing – the whistleblower perspective
Aside from the opportunity to remain anonymous, user-friendliness is the main advantage for a potential whistleblowers, and for the younger generation digital communication it is natural. A digital whistleblowing service simplifies the initial reporting process for the whistleblower and thus removes some of the logistical and psychological barriers that might reduce the likelihood of a person blowing the whistle.
First, digital channels can be made accessible through a user-friendly interface, from all types of devices, at all times of the day, and anywhere in the world. Consequently, the whistleblower does not have to be concerned about where, when and how they can raise an alert in private.
In the encrypted reporting channel of our solution, the whistleblower is guided through their reporting with a very simple questionnaire. Prompt questions remove some of the anxiety of not knowing which information to provide and lessen concerns about writing mistakes.
Further, a digital solution can seamlessly connect the whistleblower with the authorised person/team that is trained to manage the report in a sensitive, compliant and respectful way. This reduces the worry and effort of needing to find the right person. The system can also automatically generate a confirmation of receipt so the whistleblower is not left wondering whether their message got through. Finally, safe language translation software can be embedded into a digital whistleblowing service, which greatly diminishes language barriers in an international organisation.
Digital whistleblowing – the case manager perspective
Data security is a main advantage for the whistleblowing team that receives the alerts. A digital whistleblowing service significantly reduces information security risks. Efficiency is also a major benefit as digitalisation minimises the administration of case management. Everything from decisions about what needs to happen to the case, triage, assignment, a systematic audit trail, communication with a whistleblower, documentation of information, to effective investigations, uploading and handling of evidence, online statistics for real-time follow-up, and archiving is enabled and streamlined in a digital whistleblowing service. The latency time for the handling of a report is thus significantly reduced and the process becomes more efficient when it is digitally enabled.
Importantly, the entire case management process becomes less dependent on any individual as all cases exist in the digital whistleblowing solution, and not in any one person’s in-box or computer.
WhistleB’s solution focuses on making things easier for the whistleblowing team even before usage. The service is easy to implement, practical and takes very little effort before the system is up and running. The only requirement for getting started is a web browser.
Thus, the simplicity of digital whistleblowing services makes them both an efficient and a cost-effective option.
Digital whistleblowing – the board perspective
By far the greatest benefit of a digital whistleblowing service for company boards is how it strengthens governance and transparency. In a digital system everything can be logged. Every report made, every action in the case, who accesses and handles the investigation… nothing can be hidden or removed. This builds great trust in the system and cannot be offered by other non-digital channels.
Even though personal data is safe, digital whistleblowing services can offer up-to-date statistics that allow an analysis, for example of trends, types of misconduct, gaps, regions of increased risk, and so on. Such insight can direct board and management attention to where it is needed in terms of measures to strengthen business ethics.
Finally, digital whistleblowing services can offer boards some peace of mind regarding legal compliance. There is a significant risk of non-compliance given today’s stricter data protection laws, such as the GDPR in the EU. Since interpretation of complex laws and regulations can be embedded and configured into best practices within digital whistleblowing solutions, they can help to minimise compliance risks and prevent information disclosure.
Given all the above, why do we offer a telephone hotline alongside the digital whistleblowing service?
It’s true, WhistleB’s solution can indeed include a telephone hotline worldwide, but we always recommend the digital whistleblowing service as the first choice. Today, approximately 95% of our customers use the purely web-based service and only 5% of them add telephony. A small percentage which is clearly decreasing.
Organisations today tend to carefully consider whether different target groups and countries really need a telephone-based option, and weigh that up against the safest and most secure option – which is always a digital whistleblowing service.
While technology will never replace legal and investigative expertise and experience in whistleblowing case management, a digital whistleblowing service is a powerful complement that simplifies reporting, streamlines processes, boosts efficiency, strengthens transparency and build trust.
Would you like to find out more about digital whistleblowing solutions?
Founder and Partner at WhistleB
46 (0)70 214 88 73