The company has implemented a new programme, ‘ISpeak’, as a part of its whistleblowing mechanism…
According to an independent survey, employee theft or fraud is a major reason for organisational failures. The problem is not just unique to large companies; even smaller organisations are equally susceptible. A lot of damage can be controlled if financial anomalies are reported at an early stage.
However, often employees prefer to look the other way or just keep mum, fearing a backlash.
But this can be stopped and companies can ensure fraud protection by implementing tools, such as hotlines and case management solutions.
InterGlobe, which is one of the leading companies in aviation, hospitality and travel-related services, has implemented a new programme, ‘ISpeak’, as part of the whistleblowing mechanism or strategy it has adopted.
This initiative encourages its employees to commit to InterGlobe’s Code of Conduct (CoC) and report any incident of actual or potential violation, of the CoC or any other laws governing InterGlobe, through a helpline, email or the website.
The programme enables its employees to red flag something which is not aligned with the ethics and professional way of working at InterGlobe.
he complaints received through these channels are attended to by an Independent Ombudsman, a person who directly reports to the Compliance Committee. “At all times it is ensured that the confidentiality of the complaints/complainants is maintained,” says Vinay Jaswal, V-P, HR, InterGlobe Hotels.
This programme acts as an efficient communication channel and encourages internal and external stakeholders to raise alerts, and take the initiative to bring corrupt practices to the notice of the concerned authorities. It reassures people who believe that using the usual communication and reporting channels would be unsuccessful.
Jaswal says, “Corporate houses have witnessed significant reforms and have made a strong push towards a robust ethics framework over the last few years. The Companies Act, 2013 has been a major driver of this change, fuelling good practices among organisations.”
One of the key provisions of the Act is the establishment of a vigil mechanism with an oversight responsibility of the Audit Committee for its monitoring.
“To make the vigil mechanism effective, there was a need of a Code of Conduct to guide the employees and vendors on ethical practices,” he adds.
‘ISpeak’ follows certain mechanisms, which have ensured its effectiveness. These include, a hotline with 24/7 availability; multiple reporting channels; outsourcing of reporting platform; confidentiality of complaints/complainants and also protection of the whistleblower.
Jaswal further comments, “In organisations like ours, leaders actively reach out to explain the dos and the don’ts of doing fair business to the rank and file. We also make it a point to reinforce our commitment towards the Code of Conduct by publicly promoting positive behaviour.”
The company believes that regular training and awareness of the employees is essential for the success of this platform. “We ensure that this is imparted in a timely manner,” concludes Jaswal.