Companies & Organisations

Why would a company or an organisation want to consider using the Your-Call employee and stakeholder feedback program?

Why is Your-Call preferable to internal hotlines or present suggestion programs?

What are the pros and cons of internet versus telephone reporting?

What kind of information does Your-Call provide Management?

How is Your-Call different from an employee assistance program (EAP)?

How can a company or an organisation develop trust and improved front-line communication when employees have the ability to circumvent their superiors by using Your-Call?

Is Your-Call primarily a “gripe line” or is it really something more useful?

Does Your-Call receive a lot of vexatious information?

What kinds of companies and organisations use Your-Call?

Will Your-Call work in every organisation?

Given Your-Call is confidential and anonymous, how can management provide employees and stakeholders with feedback?

Isn’t managing the program going to create a substantial amount of additional work?

What if an organisation is concerned about the confidentiality or sensitivity of the information received?

How much does Your-Call cost?

How long does it take to get Your-Call in place?

Users

What type of matters is information sought on when making a Your-Alert submission?

What type of matters is information sought on when making a Your-Say submission?

Can I remain anonymous?

How secure is the information?

Is Your-Call an email system?

What happens to the information?

Can I be protected?

What relationship does Your-Call have with the organisation to which the information relates?

Companies & Organisations

Why would a company or an organisation want to consider using the Your-Call employee and stakeholder feedback program?

Although many companies and organisations have a sincere and genuine interest in promoting trust and “open door” access, research indicates that there is a large body of employees and stakeholders who remain sceptical about such policies or who are inherently uncomfortable about speaking up. To place trust solely in existing internal reporting systems without developing a complementary external reporting model overlooks the information that has been shown to flow from a secure independent system. Your-Call helps employees and stakeholders overcome their fears and inhibitions by allowing them to submit information themselves confidentially and anonymously, if that’s their choice, at a time and place where it best suits them. The complementary model maintains an employers’ responsibility to their employees and provides the balance needed for optimal levels of reporting of information that does exist.

 

Why is Your-Call preferable to internal hotlines or present suggestion programs?

The biggest advantage Your-Call has over internal programs is that we are 100% independent and our sole business is to facilitate the confidential and anonymous disclosure of all information. Your-Call has no connection with the company or organisation’s internal or external financial auditing function. Because a company or an organisation has no way of knowing who supplied the information employees and stakeholders have greater confidence about supplying information through anonymity. Experience has also shown that even employees who have wonderful ideas are reluctant to present them for fear of ridicule or rejection. With Your-Call, they have far fewer concerns or reservations about communicating with management. Your-Call 24/7 365 days a year online service provides employees and stakeholders immediate access to the company or organisation. The company organisation is able to receive the information and quickly respond to the concerns (alerts), complaints, suggestions and information provided by their employees, customers and stakeholders in the one place in a timely manner, thereby eliminating the reactive approach necessitated by many current off-line feedback reporting systems.

 

What are the pros and cons of internet versus telephone reporting?

Your-Call’s experience, based on reporting we have had to date and overseas reporting systems, shows that reporting generally occurs outside working hours.

What then is the best mechanism to capture the information?

Internet (server to server application not email)

access 24/7 365 days a year

seeks information on specific conduct types ranging from dishonesty to behavioural to safety
seeks real time feedback opinion on products/services, operational processes, equipment, policies, corporate culture, employee morale, productivity and workplace safety/environment.
Readily available in places outside the workplace & family home including libraries and internet cafes

Internet use in Australia is among the highest rates in the western world

On line help/instructions to assist employee or user to answer a series of questions

Provides the actual information not an interpretation of a conversation

Potential confrontation of a telephone interview is removed

Offers greater anonymity to the employee as there is no voice recognition

Use of technology to receive information through a web based platform reduces operational and administrative costs making this an inexpensive, secure and easy to administer whistleblower system
Telephone

access determined by hours of operation
no control over type of calls or information sought
voice identification
provides a personal medium
allows the call taker to develop a rapport with the employee to illicit all relevant information
generally only notes of the telephone conversation are made by the call taker and an interpretation is made on what was said
use of qualified and experienced call takers ensures quality and quantity of the information
hours of operation and qualifications/experience of call takers (protected disclosure officers) makes this option more costly, particularly if opt for verbatim transcription of conversation, and increases the level of administration and security

Your-Call has found from its experience, the web is a more effective in capturing information and 98% of disclosures received by us have come from that format. We suspect cultural factors in Australia such as mateship, the layout of modern office workplaces, and leaning by the younger generation towards technology, along with avoiding the perceived confrontation of an interview and maintaining anonymity contribute to the high percentage.

Other whistleblower service providers who offer only the traditional telephone service have reportedly found 60% of their information is now derived from emails. It is worth noting email does not offer the same levels of security and anonymity as Your-Call’s server based solution.

The key to an effective whistleblowing system is scalability to offer a range of reporting options to suit the particular workplace, its people and culture such as telephone and the locked mail bag facility offered as part of Your-Call’s web based Solution PLUS.

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What kind of information does Your-Call provide Management?

Your-Call’s Your-Alert and Your-Say Web based Solutions provide access to those authorised in Management to the Your-Call website through a secure client login at any time or place where the authorised person has access to an internet connection.

Management is able to access the information supplied in real time in response to developed sets of questions to illicit maximum information. If the person has elected to remain anonymous to your organisation, we will edit any information or attachment that will potentially identify the person. If edited, the person and the organisation will be notified that it has been done so as to ensure the integrity and transparency of our systems.

Your-Call’s purpose built and designed Case Management and Analytics system known as “iAnalysis” makes it possible and allows the company or organisation to create a seamless workflow when documenting, investigating and resolving disclosures (whistleblower complaints) of illegal or unethical behaviour or feedback. From the initial notification of the disclosure through to its final resolution, the company or organisation can document activities in a convenient, centralised system that helps it ensure disclosures and information are resolved effectively, efficiently and appropriately.

How is Your-Call different from an employee assistance program (EAP)?

Employee assistance programs exist primarily to help employees obtain counseling about personal issues such as depression, marriage or relationship problems, alcohol or drug abuse, financial concerns or workplace adjustment. Your-Call’s Your-Say was developed to help companies and organisations learn about employee morale, corporate culture, operational/administration processes, cost savings, new ideas, productivity and workplace safety/environment. Your-Call is a natural complement to an employee assistance program.

How can a company or an organisation develop trust and improved front-line communication when employees have the ability to circumvent their superiors by using Your-Call?

Not every manager in an organisation – no matter how well the organisation is run – has the resources, skills or time to be responsive and effective. Sometimes even those managers who those at the top view as their best are perceived differently by employees who have something on their minds. Whether individual management problems are widespread – or limited – the result can be a blockage or distortion of information that is flowing to the top of the organisation. Your-Call has been able to identify problems and opportunities and significantly improve the flow of important information both up and down the organisation. The challenge is positioning the program as a way to leverage improved communications to everyone’s benefit. Your-Call provides the release valve to identify where communication has became stagnated and for the organisation to be pro-active before having potential detrimental impacts on employee morale, innovation and productivity.

Is Your-Call primarily a “gripe line” or is it really something more useful?

Your-Call is often asked does its service simply become a place where people have a gripe, a whinge or vent their spleen. Pleasingly this has not been our experience and much of this is credited to our clients and the manner in which their whistleblowing program has been implemented and managed. Employees have approached the opportunity to communicate directly to the company’s management positively and realise if that they don’t little will change, and adverse comments will simply jeopardise an opportunity to communicate with the top of the organisation at the click of a mouse. The majority of disclosures received have contained specifics that have enabled our clients to investigate, follow-up and respond appropriately. In the commencement of the program some new clients experience an initial spike in reporting, an activity which brings into the open issues which have been known but suppressed in the organisation or “sleeper” issues i.e. ones which have been hidden. The spike in activity has a positive effect by flushing out unknown risks and dealing with issues that may have been holding the organisation back such as employee morale and productivity. It also creates a belief in the program when employees actually see complaints and suggestions being dealt with by management.

Does Your-Call receive a lot of vexatious information?

No. This has not been our experience and we attribute this to an effective implementation program with Management engaging with employees and stakeholders to obtain their buy in and giving an assurance all information will be taken seriously and investigated.

What kinds of companies and organisations use Your-Call?

Your-Call is being successfully used by a wide variety of types and sizes of organisations including those with white and blue collar workers, both union and non-union manufacturing companies, retailers, financial service institutions and public sector agencies.

Will Your-Call work in every organisation?

It will but two critical factors must be met for it to become an effective and productive management tool. First, there needs to be a commitment or “buy in” to the program by an organisation’s senior management team. Ultimately, it is that group’s support that will determine how well the program performs. Second, there needs to be an on-going employee and stakeholder feedback. If employees and stakeholders witness that management is responding and listening to their information and giving it serious consideration, this will strengthen support and use of the program. Over time strong by products of the program are the prevention & deterrence of illegal conduct and inappropriate behaviour and improved morale and productivity.

Given Your-Call is confidential and anonymous, how can management provide employees and stakeholders with feedback?

Your-Call has developed a number of strategies with its clients to provide employees and stakeholders who have elected to remain anonymous with feedback which is critical to the long term success of the program.

Part of Your-Call’s Your-Alert and Your-Say is our specially designed Message Board system. It allows for a continuous figure 8 loop of communication with the person who made the disclosure who can continue to remain anonymous in a secure private on line chat forum where all the pieces or threads of conversation are delivered and maintained securely by Your-Call. On receipt of the message by Your-Call it is reviewed and edited if necessary, to maintain anonymity, then shared with the company or organisation concerned, commented upon by them and returned to Your-Call to deliver to the whistleblower.

The Message Board allows for questions to be asked and answered and permits the upload of documents, accounting spreadsheets or other financial records or images.

In addition our clients use other communication strategies which include:

(i) Reference in Employee Publications
(ii) Special Bulletins
(iii) In House Newsletters
(iv) Feedback at Employee Meetings
(v) Postings on Bulletin Boards in common areas of workplaces
(vi) Company Intranet

Even more powerful feedback is provided from instances where clients have responded to information. Your-Call has had cases where information received in relation to sexual harassment and bullying have led to organisations taking proactive action and introducing presentations and workshops on these topics before situations progress to the stage where the parties concerned take legal action or where the first you know of it, the employee has gone on sick leave. On one occasion, later employee survey feedback included a comment which stated words to the effect “I didn’t know anyone was aware of what was happening to me until unexpectedly EEO presentations started”.

In an internal theft case reported anonymously to Your-Call through its online web based solution, the speed and immediacy by which our system operates enabled us to not only detect the parties responsible but recover the goods (stock) before it was on sold. This not only sent an immediate response to the whistleblower but sent a message to others in the workplace that theft would not be tolerated.

Both these incidents highlight that Your-Alert in effect becomes a self regulating behavioural mechanism “ticking” away 24/7 in the background, always present allowing the secure submission of information confidentially and anonymously at any time.

Isn’t managing the program going to create a substantial amount of additional work?

If the company’s management team is committed to promptly assisting whoever is managing the program, coordinating the follow-up does not need to represent a significant amount of additional work for anyone.

Your-Call ‘iAnalysis’ Case Management dashboard and analytics software allows the company to create a seamless workflow when documenting, investigating and resolving disclosures (whistleblower complaints) of illegal or unethical behaviour or company feedback. From the initial notification of the disclosure through to its final resolution, the company can document activities in a convenient, centralised system maintained by Your-Call that ensures disclosures and information are resolved effectively, efficiently and appropriately.

Any additional work is outweighed by the rewards an effective program delivers and over time it reduces concerns, improves employee morale and productivity in the workplace.

It also provides those at risk, namely Directors, Officers and Executive Management with three tools in one; compliance/behavioural monitoring, deterrence and risk mitigation.

What if an organisation is concerned about the confidentiality or sensitivity of the information received?

Your-Call is acutely aware of the sensitivity of the information we handle and we have developed stringent procedures to assure the highest level of quality and integrity. As part of our standard service agreement, our company commits to maintaining confidentiality.

Our Protected Disclosure Officers and Protected Disclosure Investigations Officers are trained and experienced in the obtaining and handling of sensitive information.

For quality control and verification purposes, all information is reviewed by a Protected Disclosure Officer (Your-Alert) or Information Review Officer (Your-Say) and then verified by the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or Information Review Coordinator before the client is advised a new disclosure or information has been received.

If the disclosure or information is considered by Your-Call to be of an urgent nature, the company or organisation is contacted immediately by telephone and alerted.

Your-Call is committed to a continuous improvement program and ensures our Disclosure Officers are kept abreast of legislation that may affect the treatment of information. They are also required to sign a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement.

For example in relation to Part 9.4AAA Protection for whistleblowers s.1317AA to s.1317AE of the Corporations Act 2001, our Disclosure Officers are fully aware it is for not only the Whistleblower’s protection, but also its potential impact on the company, company officers, auditors and the designated protected disclosure officer within the client´s company or organisation.

The Your-Call web site uses the latest in encryption and authentication technology, ensuring that communications on our web site are secure and private. The ‘https’ keyword in the location bar above ensures that this connection is encrypted.

No sensitive information is sent to our clients by email. Clients access information via a secure client logon on our website.

Your-Call’s online reporting solutions come with the peace of mind that sensitive information travels over our secure 256-bit encrypted connection run by leading global SSL certificate provider, Thawte.

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<strong>Q: <a name=”q14″>How much does Your-Call cost?</a></strong>

Pricing of the Your-Call service is based partly on the number of employees, work locations, an industry risk factor and what systems are already in place.

The end cost is derived from the type of program the company or organisation requires for their people and their culture.

The program will include Your-Alert web based solution and/or a blend of options offered as part of Your-Alert web based solution PLUS such as telephone, policy and procedure development and implementation, education, training and promotion etc and/or the Your-Say service.

In addition there may be costs associated with promotion/marketing of the service (e.g. posters for tea/lunch rooms, integrity or wallet or purse cards, magnets, stickers, posters).

Our final fee is very competitive and often less than a cup of coffee per employee per year. We believe what the Your-Call services provide represents an excellent return on investment.

How long does it take to get Your-Call in place?

A few simple steps can get your organisation started and enjoying the benefits of knowing that your employees, customers, vendors and suppliers can immediately have 24/7 access to Your-Call’s totally independent secure external online reporting solutions.

Follow these five easy start up steps to immediate access to Your-Alert and Your-Say:

1. Enquire on-line for service information, a quote or a meeting with one of our experienced Disclosure Management Services consultants.
2. Sign the standard service agreement and payment plan
3. Receive your unique Organisation ID number
4. Start to use www.whistleblowing.com.au
5. Utilise your intranet, a global email, letter or even a message on pay slips to create an immediate awareness of the Service.

Your-Call integrity cards and posters will widen knowledge of the program in your business

Your-Call can work with your organisation to develop a planned communication strategy to educate employees, customers, vendors and suppliers and leaders about the benefits of reporting fraud, other concerns and feedback.

Your-Call can, if required, provide tailored training and awareness programs for your employees and stakeholders.

In the meantime your employees and stakeholders can easily access the Your-Call website and read for themselves about the aims of the service and start confidentially and securely reporting fraud and providing feedback. However Your-Call acknowledges that some organisations do not have a whistleblower policy or procedure and it can take some time to get this correctly in place. Sometimes a small delay is preferable to getting it wrong.

The engagement with employees and stakeholders can be built over time like any awareness program. The most important aspect is that the program is correctly communicated at the commencement.

You know your people and your culture and Your-Call will work to your timetable.

Remember to delay may result in you missing a window of opportunity for a concerned employee or stakeholder to report an incident when it most worries them or provide you with feedback that may just change and improve your business.

What type of matters is information sought on when making a Your-Alert submission?

Guidance is generally provided in an organisation’s whistleblower policy, and direction is obtained generally through legislation and corporate governance standards.

Australian Whistleblower Legislation

Generally these matters are prescribed by the organisation and in legislation including that under the Corporations Act 2001 and various State Whistleblowing Acts where reference is made to Public Interest disclosures. The Australian Standard AS8004-2003 Whistleblowing Protection Programs for entities lists nine different reportable conduct types, including dishonesty, fraud, corruption, illegal (e.g. theft, drug use/sale, violence and criminal damage), breach of Commonwealth/State legislation or local authority by-laws (e.g. Trade Practices Act or Income Tax Assessment Act), unethical, unsafe workplaces and causing financial or non financial loss detrimental to the interests of the entity.

International Whistleblower Legislation

Legislation has been enacted in most overseas companies, including in New Zealand, the USA, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).
Matters on which information is sought is similar to that in Australia by way of its legislation and standards.

What type of matters is information sought on when making a Your-Say submission?

Opportunity to express your Idea, Opinion (Comment) or Feedback on matters including Productivity, Products/Services, Cost Savings, Employee Morale, Corporate Culture, Company Equipment, Company Operations/Processes, Company Policies and Workplace Environment.

Can I remain anonymous?

Yes you can for both Your-Alert and Your-Say. There are also two other options, you can make yourself known to Your-Call or to Your-Call and your organisation. Where a person elects to be known to Your-Call but not the organisation we will not share your identity except as required by law.

How secure is the information?

We take every effort and all reasonable steps to protect and secure information submitted. As soon as it is submitted the information is encrypted on our own server where it is protected by 256 bit encryption. This is the same level of encryption as used by Australian banks.

Is Your-Call an email system?

No it is not. It is a direct computer to computer server application. Identity information contained in an email is not therefore captured. However if you have concerns about your ISP details please refer to our “How to stay Anonymous” page

100% independent and anonymous

What happens to the information?

All information submitted as part of a protected disclosure form, except the name and email address of the person making the disclosure where anonymity has been sought will be shared with the organisation you identify in lodging the protected disclosure.

Can I be protected?

The level of protection provided to a whistleblower is outlined in your organisation’s whistleblower policy. It is also determined in some instances by legislation and the type of matter you are reporting.

Australian Legislation

Protection is provided by way of State legislation for the Public Sector and s.1317AA to AE of the Corporation Act 2007. It is dependent on the type of information provided and a number or conditions being met.

Overseas Legislation

Protection is provided by various legislation, including Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the USA. Again it is generally conditional on the type of information being provided.

We suggest you seek appropriate legal advice if you believe you need protection from harm and/or seek immunity from prosecution, etc.

What relationship does Your-Call have with the organisation to which the information relates?

Typically the Organisation has a service agreement with Your-Call to provide this service to the organisation and its employees and stakeholders (customers, supplies etc). Where anonymity has been sought we will not share identify information with the organisation except as required by law.

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