Workplace civility concerns drive reporting, organizational size impacts results
PORTLAND, Ore.—March 28, 2023 – NAVEX, the leader in integrated risk and compliance management software, has released its 2023 Hotline & Incident Management Benchmark Report. The bellwether annual benchmark report provides valuable insight into the workplace culture of 52 million employees across 3,430 organizations, examining the trends of 1.52 million reports from across the globe.
“We use NAVEX’s annual benchmark report to help inform our risk management strategy,” says FedEx Chief Compliance Officer Justin Ross. “As an industry leader, we do our best to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest incident reporting and risk management trends. The insight this report provides helps us do just that.”
“NAVEX has long been the gold standard for risk and compliance data analytics in the industry. This annual benchmark study is derived from the world’s largest incident reporting database by far,” says Carrie Penman, NAVEX chief risk and compliance officer. “Our expanded analytics in 2023 allowed for a deeper examination of the issues and behaviors that are most impactful to today’s workplaces. Chief among them is workplace civility, which is likely driven by increased societal tension generally.”
This year’s analysis of the data revealed four key themes and several notable findings:
Reporting at an all-time high, but reporters proceeded with more caution. This year’s analysis revealed the highest median level of Reports per 100 Employees (1.47) in the history of this report. Further, 21% of organizations received five or more Reports per 100 Employees, a positive finding. However, data also showed a return to higher levels of anonymous reporting (56%), indicating more reporter concern about providing their name.
HR-related reports are still the majority, but more granular analysis reveals workplace stresses. The median organization had nearly 54% of its reports in the HR, Diversity & Workplace Respect category, up from 50% in 2021. Reviewing the reporting frequency across deeper issue types offers more insight into organizational stresses and behaviors – particularly an increase in workplace civility concerns involving abusive or disrespectful behavior. The data also shows the frequency of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and substance abuse reports in 2022 all increased. These metrics are important to watch as a measure of cultural health and potentially a measure of mental health risks.
People want to talk live, but a written web-based report is more likely to be substantiated. While general communications modes move more to texting and instant messaging, this year’s data shows an increase in telephonic helpline reports, from 31% in 2021 to 34% in 2022. Hybrid work models have made it easier for employees to make a telephone report from home and more challenging to report in person. However, more thoughtful written reports, submitted via the web, are more likely to be substantiated than phone reports. In 2022, the median Substantiation Rate for web reports was 39% compared to 33% for phone.
Size matters – smaller organizations have higher reporting rates; mid-size companies are experiencing some challenges. The 2022 analysis reveals that smaller organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees registered the highest Reports per 100 Employees at 2.99. In contrast, the largest organizations, with over 100,000 employees, had a much lower rate of only 1.20 Reports per 100 Employees. Mid-sized companies with 2,500-49,999 employees had the lowest rate of all, with fewer than 1.0 Reports per 100 Employees. Organizations with 2,500 to 5,999 employees recorded the highest rate of anonymous reporting at 60%.
“Data is at the heart of making smart decisions about risk management and spotting potential problems throughout the organization. This is particularly important for issues affecting workplace culture. NAVEX’s integrated data platform provides industry-leading insights and a unique window into the performance of their risk and compliance program, which in turn helps them achieve the business outcomes that matter most,” says A.G. Lambert, NAVEX chief product officer.
Additional notable findings include:
- The frequency of bribery and corruption reports increased in 2022, as did product quality and safety reports. Conflicts of interest reporting dropped significantly but is still in the top five. Data privacy and protection also made the top five.
- While overall Substantiation Rates remained steady at 41%, the five issue types with the highest frequency of substantiation were: global trade (76%), imminent threat to a person or property (75%), environment (71%), Data privacy and protection (68%), misuse or misappropriation of assets (67%) and health and safety (65%).
- More than half of organizations have a median Case Closure Time under 30 days. The largest organizations had the shortest Case Closure Time. Notable, and perhaps concerning, is a median of 18% of cases were closed on the same day they were received. This finding indicates instances that may have been forwarded to a different department and resolved prior to complete resolution, implying that a case classified as “closed” for compliance does not necessarily denote closure for the organization.
For more insights on the 2023 Incident Management Benchmark Report, join Justin Ross, FedEx chief compliance officer, Carrie Penman, NAVEX chief risk & compliance officer, and Anders Olsen, NAVEX senior data scientist, for an informative webinar where they will discuss the results of this year’s analysis in detail. Register here or, read our blog, Don’t Miss Out – World’s Leading Hotline Webinar & Report Released March 28.
NAVEX is trusted by thousands of customers worldwide to help them achieve the business outcomes that matter most. As the global leader in integrated risk and compliance management software and services, we deliver solutions through the NAVEX One platform, the industry’s most comprehensive governance, risk and compliance (GRC) information system. For more information, visit NAVEX.com and our blog. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.