Employees bring workplace culture issues to the forefront as reporters appear more cautious as HR-type issues grow in prominence
London, UK – October 12, 2023 – NAVEX, the leader in integrated risk and compliance management software, today announced the publication of its 2023 Regional Whistleblowing Hotline Benchmark Report. Utilising over 1.5 million anonymised customer reports received in 2022, and with a focus on four geographic regions, NAVEX provides this annual analysis to help risk and compliance practitioners understand and benchmark their program performance against regional peers. This year, key findings include a boost in the volume of reports across all regions but with growing caution from reporters -as evidenced by an increase in anonymous reports. The study also highlights a reduction in health and safety reports, and a rise in HR-related reports.
“NAVEX’s immense repository of industry data is one of a kind,” said Florian Haarhaus, International General Manager at NAVEX. “Our annual report’s data will empower Chief Compliance Officers in Europe to enhance their programs with benchmarking. This will help them continue to evolve the efficacy of their programs to drive business outcomes that matter most.”
Report volumes increase; reporters become more cautious
Median report volume per 100 employees rose for all regions comparing 2022 to 2021. As volumes increased, so has the share of reports submitted anonymously. Until only recently, reporters were far more likely to put their name to a report than in years past.
This may reflect a greater sense of caution among workers in all regions, where generalised economic uncertainty and geopolitical instability could be contributing to an apparent retreat in named reporting.
Interestingly, reports made by reporters based in Europe were the least likely to be anonymous. This suggests reporters in that region may have the least actual concern about retaliation. Organisations in the European Union faced the accelerating rollout of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive during this period, which mandated many organisations in the bloc set up internal whistleblowing systems. The Directive explicitly protects whistleblowers from retaliation.
Health & safety reports recede while HR-type reports grow; Europe retaliation holds steady
As workers retrench, they are bringing workforce culture issues to the fore. This may indicate a greater focus on their current employer, versus confidence of finding a new job outside of their organisation.
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) reports were a smaller median share of total reports across all regions and measures in 2022 compared to 2021. This likely shows the decline of COVID-19’s prominence related to other issues around the world, whether viewed through the lens of where the organisation receiving the report is headquartered or where the report was submitted. The median share of HR, diversity, and workplace respect reports grew in importance across all regions and measures, likely reflecting a growing employee focus on workplace dynamics.
The portion of retaliation reports made in Europe increased. This may be evidence of growing public awareness around the issue of retaliation and growing public confidence in the region to report this sensitive issue. The percentage of reports submitted about retaliation also rose slightly for reports made in all regions apart from APAC (Asia Pacific), where it held steady.
Meanwhile, North America shows by far the greatest respective share of retaliation reports compared to other regions. This may be because of greater reporter awareness around the issue, or because organisations are doing an effective job inviting reports of this issue type.
To read the full report, please click here.
About 2023 Regional Whistleblowing Hotline Benchmark Report
Analysis is based on more than 1.5 million anonymised customer reports received in 2022. This regional benchmark focuses on four geographies: Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), North and South America. It is designed to help risk and compliance practitioners understand and benchmark their programs’ performance relative to regional peers. The benchmarking metrics provide a framework for organisations to speak a common language regarding types of risks, while identifying areas to enhance workplace culture across regional boundaries.
New this year is a first-ever analysis of how reporting trends may differ by region of report origin compared to location of organisation headquarters. This dual analysis is particularly useful for multi-national companies with global operations and workforces. Also of note, APAC report calculations for 2021 have also been updated to include the Middle East, which resulted in some refinements to 2021 data used for comparative purposes.
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