Whistleblowing industry trends 2020 – 2021

January 12, 2021

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on emerging whistleblowing industry trends. Here’s a look back at some of the WhistleB blogs from 2020 that were early indicators of the whistleblowing industry trends what we can expect to continue seeing in 2021.

WhistleB whistleblowing system customer survey 2020 –  Key findings

Our WhistleB customer survey 2020 highlighted a number of trends in how our customers use their whistleblowing system. 

  • Customers say good communication about the whistleblowing procedure as well as anonymous reporting and dialogue are key factors for building trust in their whistleblowing systems. 
  • A sustained high level in the number of reports received indicates that attitudes remain more positive towards whistleblowing and that more customers have their systems open to external stakeholders.
  • The passing of the EU Whistleblower Protection directive appears to be shaping a more structured approach to whistleblowing report management.

Risk prevention cited as one of the key benefits of having a whistleblowing system in place 

In the above-mentioned survey, customers also told us what they see as the main benefits of whistleblowing systems. Risk prevention topped the list, indicating that business leaders are beginning to see whistleblowing as a practical, effective way to reduce risk and boost the resilience of their companies.

Shout your net positive from the rooftops

Following on from the point on resilience, we also wrote a blog about a clear trend for companies to strengthen their sustainability profile by communicating their positive contributions to society. Pioneering companies have understood the value of whistleblowing solutions in their strategies to become net positive, and we expect this only to grow as more organisations align with the United Nations Global goals to stamp out conduct that is detrimental to society, such as environmental crime, corruption, child labour and gender inequality.

Guidance on whistleblowing for boards

There’s no doubt that different organisational roles are becoming more interested in whistleblowing and whistleblowing systems. In particular board members, investors, portfolio companies and owners of SMEs are increasingly requiring that the companies in which they are involved establish robust systems. In response to this trend, we wrote the above blog to provide guidance for boards. We also published our WhistleB whistleblowing handbook for business leaders and boards.

Schrems 2 and how it affects whistleblowing systems  

Data security and personal integrity are always top of mind (or they should be) in whistleblowing system considerations. The Schrems 2 ruling, just like the EU GDPR a few years ago, prompted many companies to reassess and their data security circumstances, including the security of the sensitive data held in their whistleblowing systems. Data security and compliance with all applicable laws have always been central to the WhistleB whistleblowing system. It is fully GDPR compliant and is supported by market-leading security technology… and we remain committed to keeping it that way.

How to deal with the impact of remote working on Whistleblowing? 

Distant, remote, virtual, digital, online… Whatever your organisation calls it, teleworking became the new normal in many industries as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. And it is here to stay to some degree. For some business leaders this feels like a challenge when it comes to corporate governance and control. Is there a greater risk of misconduct? How can leaders find out about undesired activities when employees aren’t within their same physical space? This blog gave pragmatic advice on ensuring effective whistleblowing systems in remote working contexts.

Secure, simple, streamlined – isn’t it time you switched to digital whistleblowing? 

Even before the unprecedented interest in online tools that we witnessed in 2020, digital whistleblowing solutions had started to gain in popularity and credibility. Whether for effectivity, anonymity, security, availability or simplicity, more and more organisations are choosing digital whistleblowing. When we look at our own customers, 95% of them use the purely web-based service and only 5% add telephony. In step with this trend, we invested in our own solution in 2020, enabling rapid start-up through fully digital onboarding of customers. 

New trends and new challenges surely await this year. And 2021 is no ordinary year, it is WhistleB’s 10th anniversary and we embrace it with the same energy as when we first started the company and the same conviction that the world needs modern, secure, anonymous whistleblowing systems. We believe that the current whistleblowing industry trends support our view.

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