Employees are 57% more likely to speak up about workplace misconduct today than they were two years ago, according to our latest research.

Expolink’s annual Whistleblowing Benchmarking Report, which includes an analysis of 18,335 reports filed by employees globally in 2018, shows the number of new reports per 1,000 employees has jumped from 2.1 in 2016 to 3.3 in 2018 – a 57% increase.

The report, now in its fourth year, analyses data from the hotlines of more than 650 organisations worldwide, and offers valuable insight for compliance managers and leaders in every business sector.

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What’s behind the increase in reporting rates?

Such a clear behavioural shift suggests employees are becoming more ethically aware – and are more willing than ever to “speak up”.The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal came to light in March 2018 (IMAGE: Shutterstock)

Recent high-profile scandals and media revelations lie at the heart of this. Combined with the growing power of online activism (such as the #MeToo movement), these forces are prompting not just widespread debate, but real cultural and legislative change.

In the workplace, this is translating into an educated, empowered workforce that is more prepared to share its viewpoint.

What steps should organisations be taking now?

With people more willing to speak up, it’s never been more important to give them a voice.

Providing a speak up service is an important first step, and this year’s Benchmarking Report has once again demonstrated the importance of deploying a flexible, multi-channel approach.

In 2018, almost 49% of people chose to report a concern through our telephone channels, with the remainder favouring online reporting. However, we also saw that preferences can be influenced by working environments, local norms and the type of issue being reported.

Discover how to implement a Speak Up service

What else does our Benchmarking data tell us?

Empowerment is a theme that’s evident throughout this year’s Benchmarking Report.

As well as revealing that more people feel able to speak up than ever before, our 2018 data analysis has also shown us that:

  • There is no ‘best’ reporting channel. Different environmental factors, such as culture, geography and workplace environment appear to influence how people choose to raise a concern.
  • Most people still want to protect their identity. Even as an independent speak up platform, almost three-quarters of our users want to protect their identity in some way. They are more likely to reveal their identity when reporting via telephone channels.
  • Hot topics influence reporting trends. Issues can remain hidden until it becomes ‘okay’ to talk about them.
  • Difference is everywhere. Every culture, sector, organisation and individual is different, and submitting a speak up report is a highly personal choice informed by multiple factors.

Looking for more insights?

Download the full 24-page Report to discover the latest Speak Up trends for your sector.