Unfair and unethical practices are unfortunate and fairly common in many businesses. If you have ever witnessed unethical behavior by one of your coworkers, then you may be wondering how to deal with the situation in an appropriate manner. One course of action is to report the unethical behavior. While there are several ways to manage whistle-blowing, some methods are more effective than others. Knowing how to manage whistle-blowing is an important lesson for you and your employees and can make your business run more smoothly.
Identify the unethical behavior in question and determine how it is affecting you or the organization in which you work. Decide whether the problem is worth reporting and if it will put your job or someone else's job in jeopardy.
Create a support group. Find peers and coworkers whom you can trust to keep the issue to themselves. Explain the unethical or illicit behavior and determine the opinion of others. If your coworkers agree, recruit them into your support group.
Determine the correct supervisor or authority figure to whom you will report the problematic behavior. If your boss is committing the behavior in question, identify your boss's supervisor or an external legal figure who has the power to influence the situation.
Blow the whistle. If you fear that whistle-blowing may get you fired or put you into a legal battle, write an anonymous letter or use a third party such as an attorney to report the unethical behavior. Explain the behavior or issue in detail, explain why you believe it is unethical and why it warrants whistle-blowing, as well as how the issue could be resolved.
Focus on unethical or illegal facts rather than pointing your finger at an individual when you are whistle-blowing.
Consult your business's guidelines on whistle-blowing to avoid breaking any explicit rules that may result in you being fired.
- whistle image by John Hartley from Fotolia.com