We spend a lot of time in compliance discussing how to encourage employees to come forward and report any wrongdoing they see around them. Considerably less time, though, is spent on how to handle employees who report their own wrongdoing.
In this podcast, Stefani Sonzzini Navarro, LATAM Compliance Officer for Corteva Agrisciences balances the scales.
Encouraging employees to come forward with their own questionable acts, she explains, begins with having the right culture. People need to be comfortable and feel safe to report.
Getting there takes time and repetition, she explains, along with a strong anti-retaliation policy that covers self-report wrongdoing as well.
When an employee first brings the potential issue to your attention, she advises letting them know that if they report something you are obligated to act on it, and that you have to do what is in the best interest of the company. Let them know you will protect their confidentiality as much as possible, but that you also will have to remediate.
This will help build trust, but also let them know what is likely to happen.
The subsequent investigation should be conducted as quickly as possible, in recognition of how anxious the subject likely is.
Throughout, she advises, be open and make yourself available. If you let the employee grow too anxious, there could be adverse behaviors and consequences.
If the employee has in fact done something wrong, their willingness to report much be recognized. Let them know that things would have been worse if they had not spoken to you.
Listen in to learn more about how to encourage and support self-reports of wrongdoing.