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Do You Choose to Bite Your Tongue Or The Bullet?

Bite the bullet - whistleblowing & risk solutions

In today’s corporate world where employees receive backlash from blowing the whistle, one must decide whether to bite their tongue and stay silent or bite the bullet and speak up.

The complicated decision to bite your tongue or the bullet can impact not only the whistleblower’s life and career but also the organisation’s reputation.

Staying silent rather than reporting misconduct in the workplace can have a major negative impact as well.

  1. Reputational damage for the organisation: Leads to severe and lasting effects, (e.g. Lack of trust for employees, partners and consumers, or bad publicity).
  2. Legal and financial risks: Oranisations may face lawsuits and fines if regulatory bodies discover misconduct.
    • Studies show that company stock prices can decrease by 2.8% when more external reports are made to the press.
  3. Normalisation of misconduct: Silence of misconduct leads to unethical behaviours and an increase in wrongdoings.
    • It also causes the situation to escalate further, due to misconduct not being brought to light.
  4. Loss of staff members and diminished recruitment: Employees are likely to leave if misconduct is not dealt with.
    • This can decrease employee recruitment as well.
  5. Personal consequences for the witness: Staying silent can take a serious toll on the witness’s mental health.
    • The witness could also be seen as guilty if the wrongdoing is exposed at a later stage.

It takes immense courage for an individual to speak up on wrongdoing.

Bite the bullet - whistleblowing & risk solutions

Biting the bullet can be a challenging decision to make, but it plays a vital role for employees, organisations and society as a whole.

  1. Personal satisfaction and ethical integrity: A sense of personal fulfillment and peace of mind is the result of a whistleblower acting with integrity and contributing to justice.
  2. Legal protection: Ensuring that organisations adhere to regulatory and legal requirements.
  3. Early resolvement of misconduct: Reporting wrongdoings as early as possible helps organisations resolve issues at an early stage and before it gets out to the public.
  4. Encouragement of a Speak-Up Culture: It promotes sustainability for organisations and encourages more reports of wrongdoings to be issued.

The Bravery to Bite The Bullet

Examples of inspiring and encouraging individuals that were brave enough to speak up:

  1. Curtis Ewbank, Ed Pierson, John Barnett, Joshua Dean, Martin Bickeboeller and Santiago Paredes – Spirit AeroSystems & Boeing
    • All these individuals reported hundreds of defective and damaged parts that were manufactured for Boeing.
  2. Cher Scarlett and Ashley Gjøvik – Apple
    • They published multiple stories depicting a variety of wrongdoings taking place at Apple, through a whistleblowing campaign that they created.
    • Their campaign influenced multiple employees from Apple to share their stories as well.
  3. More than 50 doctors, nurses and other employees – NHS
    • Multiple reports from NHS employees were received about their fears of the safety of patients.

Specifying on the bravery of the individuals that I’ve mentioned above, most of them unfortunately suffered severe consequences for blowing the whistle.

Why? They reported wrongdoings internally and externally without being anonymous.

Therefore, the most common cause that prevents employees from biting the bullet is the daunting fear of retaliation.

So the main question is…What should organisations do to instill trust in their employees?

Yes, it’s that simple.

We provide you with a totally anonymous and encrypted platform, called Aranea.

Be protected and still bite the bullet through Aranea.