Legal compliance for workplace management has become increasingly difficult as new laws continue to favor employee rights. The risk of failure to comply with ever-changing laws is high, as many employers are simply not prepared to address the most sensitive issues they’re likely to encounter. What’s more, these sensitive issues are not being brought forward because employees fear retaliation and have no safe way of reporting most forms of misconduct. Without knowledge of these issues and how to professionally address them, your company is at risk for legal repercussions, employee turnover, lost revenue, and even public backlash. Helplines help you avoid disasters.

External HR hotlines and ethics helplines are a new tool that combines legal compliance with the ethical treatment of employees for a safe and healthy way to report issues at the onset of a problem.

These services have built-in feedback loops to protect both the employer and employee and create a safe harbor with anonymous reporting, removing the real and perceived threat of retaliation.

As an added benefit, these tools send the message to your employees their feedback matters. Employee Hotlines and Helplines become the middleman and take the pressure off managers who may not readily understand their legal obligations to employees or don’t have the time to research it.

Helpline programs give managers an opportunity to address very specific concerns, like embezzlement, sexual misconduct, or drug abuse. Helplines pack a whole lot of punch for their small monthly fees and quickly pay for themselves too, especially when theft is happening.

The reward of external reporting and professional management when sensitive issues arise is protecting your people from further harm, stopping bad actors, and preserving the health of your organization.

Finding the right HR professional is critical to quickly addressing concerns within your organization, and applying the best resources available for the situation. The best HR professional will understand your local laws and take the time to learn about your company culture too. Since the gray areas of the laws are immense, the right professional will provide options that are both compliant and represent the values of the organization.

What you don’t see or know can amplify already high risk for your company. Creating a culture of communication with training for employees fosters trust and tells the employee their concerns matter. Fear of retaliation is the biggest reason employees don’t come forward and report a problem. Not addressing these underlying issues in a timely manner means issues can escalate and become dangerous, affecting the company’s stability – and the livelihood of everyone who works there.

The human side of resources

No matter how much a person earns, their intelligence, or level of education, employees will face personal crises, unexpected challenges, setbacks, and even trauma. Vulnerable populations and above-average income earners alike are capable of misconduct, theft, substance abuse, and unthinkable acts that harm others. If employers don’t have the tools to professionally address and respond to emerging issues, and employees don’t have the ability to report safely and anonymously, these will silently tax and degrade workplace productivity, reducing the health of your company. Gaining the tools you need to face these challenges will give your employees an edge in facing the challenges already present.

HR experts have weighed in on why HR helplines are so important too, which we will share with you a little later. First, let’s look at some statistics and the undercurrent of issues that are happening in nearly every workplace.

It’s good to start thinking about what you can do to be prepared if these issues arise. While you have legal obligations, which your HR hotline representative can present to you, it’s a good idea to think about the additional options available and how far your company will go to support your employees. A good HR consultant can help you understand which resources are right for you.

Be prepared for trouble

Training your employees on your HR helpline communication practices will create a greater level of trust and result in higher reporting of incidents. And remember, these issues may have already been present, just unseen. Thinking about your options ahead of time will help you make better decisions when you are presented with options for resolution by your HR hotline representative. Learn more