I often get asked by people how many compliance reports should an organization hope to have (the answer is not whatever average number of reports per 100 employees a benchmark report cites).
Often – and understandably – people might expect that having no ethics helpline reports (or reports raised through any other channel) is a good thing.
No reports means no problems, right? Not quite.
Ideally (and unrealistically), there would be no reports because no issues are occurring that need to be reported. you can either call that utopia or delusional.
The reality is that issues exist in every single organization and it is better that issues are raised (and ideally as early as possible).
People speaking up is a good thing and often a sign of a healthy culture. The problem is when issues are occurring and not being reported. imagine if no one went to their doctor with the cold or flu in winter – that would not be a sign that people are not getting sick; it would likely be a worrying sign that people are getting sick and are not getting help, and likely that untreated illness will spread to others.
If issues are being raised in an organization, it should not be a cause for panic. It provides an opportunity for the organization to understand what is going on and address any issues.
So, how many compliance reports should your organization realistically want to have?
If all issues are being raised early, out of care and openly with an organization, then that is the desired number of reports at that moment in time. issues underlying the reports are the problem, not the reports themselves. Reports are simply an opportunity to address actual or potential issues.
No reports is a much bigger worry than having reports.