When reporting an incident or supporting a reporter, consider these:
- Listen carefully and objectively to their concerns.
- Acknowledging a complaint does not mean you are validating it. Just listen carefully.
- Assure them that a process exists to handle these situations and that you will report the concerns if they cannot or will not.
- Ask them to refrain from discussing the situation with anyone not involved in the reporting procedure.
- Express appreciation to them for raising the concern.
- Acknowledge that it was difficult for them.
- Get help from Human Resources, the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, or a leader next on the chain of command, if needed.
- Don’t retaliate against them or anyone else who raises an issue.
What if a colleague doesn’t want the unethical behavior reported?
- Explain the legal requirement to address the problem, even though they prefer to leave it “off the record”.
- Remind them of their future goals
- Assure the colleague that action is the only choice for a successful personal and professional life.