There are many methods and strategies that management can implement to ensure that their employees can trust the process and encourage them to report concerns internally before seeking outside assistance. The use of an independent, neutral outside professional such as an ombudsman, who holds the reputational gravitas, can be extremely effective. For management, the implementation of an individual as an ombudsman or designation of an ombudsman office can have the positive benefits of communicating to employees that management takes their concerns seriously, respects their views and wants to provide for an internal channel for them to be heard.
The implementation of an ombudsman also has the potential to offer management a number of other significant advantages in their quest to try to quell outside whistleblowing and foster internal reporting and action. The placement of an ombudsman can help demonstrate that there is a responsive and astute individual who will insure that the process is fair, smart, efficient and effective. If implemented correctly, an ombudsman’s office can be cost effective, reduce reputational risk and demonstrate to stakeholders, employees and regulators management’s commitment to governance and compliance.(Corporate Compliance Magazine.)
Related posts: National Association of Corporate Directors Newsletter Touts Ombuds as Essential for Effective Board Governance; Corporate Secretary Magazine: The Role of an Ombudsman in Supporting a Company's Compliance Efforts; District of Columbia Bar Sponsors Program on Corporate Ombuds.