Eighty-four percent of employees who report a compliance concern outside their company first reported the concern internally. It was only after the employer failed to address the concern satisfactorily that the employee reported the concern to a third-party outside the company.
In today’s world of social media, dissatisfied employees no longer need an attorney or journalist to tell their story. With the few strokes of a keyboard they can broadcast their complaints around the world.
The recent use of social media by a former GitHub employee to complain about alleged harassment and sexism is an example of this brave new world. Here’s an example of a few of her Twitter posts. Note how her complaints are quickly being amplified by people retweeting and favoriting her posts.
You can read more about the GitHub case by clicking here.
Lessons for Employers
The GitHub case serves as a good reminder to employers of the importance of evaluating their current processes and procedures for responding to internal employee complaints. Recent research concludes that employees who believe their internal concerns were taken seriously and that the process used to investigate their concerns was procedurally fair are statistically more likely to accept the employer’s response – even if the employee disagreed with the response.
Savvy employers recognize this and work hard to give their employees a clear way to report workplace concerns. They implement investigation protocols that ensure allegations of workplace misconduct are investigated promptly, thoroughly and impartially. They understand that a strong internal investigation protocol is a critical step in encouraging employees to keep concerns internal rather than allowing employees to feel their only alternative is to take to social media or to contact adversarial legal counsel, union organizers, or a governmental agency.
Win-Win Resolve helps employers save time and money and strengthen compliance programs. We manage employee hotlines and internal dispute resolution programs and conduct workplace investigations and mediations. Learn more Win-Win Resolve.