The Wall Street Journal reported results of a recent survey which found that over one-third of American workers are aware of wrongdoing in their workplace.
An astounding 78 percent of more than 1,000 respondents surveyed nationwide stated they would report such actions if they knew they could do so anonymously with protection from retaliation.
Ideally, with new whistleblower protections and incentives, employees will no longer feel the need to keep shut about corporate malfeasance. Anyway, blowing the whistle on wrongdoing is now much easier because an employee can go straight to the regulator or file a claim, which is just a click away on the SEC’s website. So directors had better either start preparing for sleepless nights or try investing in a strong culture of trust and compliance.
According to Jon McBride, a corporate governance consultant and president of McBride Associates, companies should start using the role of an ombudsman to minimize whistleblower claims and corporate misconduct. Corporate secretaries, in particular, can help support the ombudsman function by establishing a symbiotic relationship between governance and compliance. I recently had the opportunity to interview McBride, who shed some light on this issue: click on the video to hear what he has to say.