Does misconduct reporting need a tech upgrade?

Could anonymous misconduct reporting help employers deal with ethical workplace issues more effectively? UK energy supplier OVO Energy is trialling it among its workforce

A UK energy supplier has upscaled its misconduct reporting system “to the world’s most advanced and effective tech solution that puts the human in control.”

OVO Energy has paired with Vault Platform, which provides workplace technology for business compliance, risk, and HR functions that allow employees to lodge concerns directly to their company.

Vault Platform creates “an ethical environment where it is safe for employees to speak up about misconduct they experience or witness,” enabling “teams to drive out harmful workplace behaviours from discrimination and harassment through to fraud and corruption fast.”

The new technology will allow OVO Energy’s “Compliance and People teams” to record and manage reports and investigations all within a single platform, making the misconduct reporting process more efficient. The platform allows employees to raise issues either personally or anonymously where claimants can “provide additional information directly into the investigation” without compromising their identity.

William Randle, Director of Risk & Compliance, OVO Energy, said: “We chose Vault as we required a modern and accessible misconduct reporting solution to support our people. By using Vault, we have brought our processes up to date and given our people the opportunity to speak up in an open and inclusive environment.”

Vault Co-founder and CEO Neta Meidav added: “As the UK’s largest independent energy supplier OVO is exactly the progressive kind of brand we love to see implementing our advanced solution for increased ethics, better governance, and supporting their diversity & inclusion efforts.”

The benefits of anonymous reporting

An anonymous reporting platform could help employers deal with many forms of discrimination, including workplace racism, where a study in 2018 found that 32% of witnesses took no action.

With BAME workers more likely to not report racial discrimination in case their claims aren’t treated seriously, using an app anonymously where they can give detailed information could increase misconduct reporting among underrepresented groups and help employers ensure they don’t happen again.

With the UK’s energy sector still male-heavy at the board level, employers could find that staff are more likely to report gender bias via an anonymous platform too.

Whatever form of misconduct employees report, giving them the agency to lodge their complaints in a discreet yet direct manner could be preferable to booking an appointment with HR or bringing it up with management, especially if they’re not from the same group as the claimant.

Here’s some recommendations for employers to think about:

  • Are there existing processes in your organisation for staff to report misconduct anonymously?
  • How quickly are complaints dealt with, could they be more efficient?
  • Is lodging misconduct complaints accessible to all members of staff?
  • Have you asked your workforce about how they would rather report misconduct?
  • Look at your management. Would claimants feel comfortable approaching them?
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