Earlier this month, BSPA was pleased to be the co-host of Ethical Systems' first conference, Ethics by Design, in New York City. One of the conference sessions, Beyond carrots and sticks: How to encourage a speak-up culture, considered the question of the limitations of rewards systems for whistleblowers.
Here is Dennis Gentilin (author of the just-released book, The Origins of Ethical Failures) in the Australian Financial Review:
The panellists, comprising leading academics and practitioners, discussed some of the factors we know can help or hinder the development of a speak-up culture.
For example, working for ethical leaders and being surrounded by supportive colleagues greatly increases the likelihood that people will speak up. So too does the existence of "psychological safety", a dynamic where people feel that they not only can voice their values, but when they do so they won't be ignored or shunned.
On the flip side, people will be far less likely to speak up in organisations where it is perceived that there is no justice, or that raising concerns comes with consequences. That is to say, "fear and futility" are two of the biggest silencers of employee voice.