Bad news doesn’t get better with age

E&C professionals should survey their employees on a regular basis.

Not to ask whether we should have policies, trainings, controls and audits but rather to determine whether they are are helpful or can be improved. Our programs are supposed to keep our employees and our organizations safe.

Earlier this year I spoke with a colleague from another organization who was trying to decide whether to include certain questions on an employee survey. The questions seems pretty standard to me. “Have you witnessed wrongdoing in the last 12 months?” “If so, what kind of wrongdoing?” “Have you reported it?” “If not, why not?” Combined with specific demographic data, these questions can pinpoint areas of concerns in your organization and allow you to take action.

My colleague’s reaction was unexpected. “I’m not sure I want to ask those questions. If we learn that employees are witnessing but not reporting [insert wrongdoing here], it could look really bad.”

Well, it could look a lot worse if an incident is made public and reporters find out that management was hiding its head in the sand.

We are not paid to hold our breath and cross our fingers.

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