Uber. Enron. Eli Lilly. I could go on and on in listing companies who have nearly or actually fallen to their death thanks to the lack of active employee dialogue on the part of leadership.
More specifically, these companies are facing or have faced turmoil from whistleblowing. A whistleblower is someone who steps up to report illicit activity, safety issues or situations going on within an organization. In simple terms, they are very brave people who take an often very public stand about a grievous situation.
As a leader, my issue with whistleblowing is that it should never escalate to this point. Employers must offer numerous stops along the way to this “final destination.” They should solicit employee complaints about illicit activities, processes, or situations. When a situation escalates to whistleblowing, it signals that an organization wasn’t engaged in a mutual dialogue with their employees prior. Either the employees were not asked for their insight into daily operations or their voices were not heard.