Accountability and action – key ingredients of workplace culture

The freedom to raise concerns is a critical component of an open, supportive and ethical business culture. Employees should feel confident they will be encouraged to do the right thing.

According to UK trade body the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE), speak up arrangements are an essential element of good governance and can act as an early warning system for potential risks. Yet more than 40% of European workers fail to report misconduct that they are affected by or witness to.

The most common reason that people cite for not raising concerns about misconduct is that they do not believe appropriate action will be taken by their organization. The second biggest concern is that they fear repercussions that might impact their job.

While it’s clear the majority of employers have a positive approach to gender equality, diversity and inclusion and are seeking to tackle misconduct, there is still much work to be done on fostering a misconduct free workplace.

Along with a robust framework and policies to counter any potential harassment or discrimination, the CIPD advises employers to implement a robust process for recording complaints and investigations. These tools should include the names of the people involved, dates, the nature and frequency of incidents, action taken, follow-up and monitoring information.

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