App designed by IBE for employees to raise concerns in the workplace

The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has launched an app today (1st  July), the IBE Speak Up Toolkit that helps employees who have decided to speak up in the workplace to raise a concern.

The app and accompanying website will attempt to answer your questions regarding the Speak Up process, all the way from noticing a problem, having a conversation and what can be expected if your concern is investigated.

The IBE has designed this app as almost one third of employees have experienced some form of misconduct in the past year, however nearly half did not speak up or report the concern. This is according to the IBE’s European Ethics at Work survey.

The reasons employees gave to the IBE for not raising a concern at work was a belief that nothing would be done about it (28 per cent), a feeling that they might jeopardise their job (27 per cent) or a belief that it was none of their business (23 per cent).

As raising an issue at work has been known to provoke a mix of emotions, the idea behind this app is that it takes away the problems that arise when an employee wants to raise a concern.

The app was developed using first-hand experience and understanding of the emotions that come about when raising an issue along with IBE’s knowledge of what makes good practice for organizations receiving those concerns.

The Toolkit breaks up the Speak Up journey in to five stages. They are:

  • I have a concern – you’ve noticed something has happened, what are the common worries around speaking up, why should you speak up and how do you go about it?
  • Speaking to someone – how can you prepare to have a conversation, who should you speak to and what happens after that?
  • Making a report – how can you prepare to make a report, how do you actually do it and what happens after you report
  • An investigation is under way – what are the steps of an investigation, what is your role within that and who will be involved?
  • After I have spoken up – what is the outcome and what are yours and your organisation’s ongoing responsibilities?


Rozlyn Spinks, head of advisory services at IBE said:

I have spoken up at work, raising a concern about a bullying senior manager. Calling the Speak Up line felt intimidating and serious, but when I eventually did, I felt an enormous sense of relief. My expectations were considerable, and my emotions ranged from exhilaration to isolation and paranoia. That’s why the IBE Speak Up Toolkit acknowledges the emotional impact of raising a concern.

Philippa Foster Back CBE, IBE’s director said:

At the IBE we differentiate between whistleblowing externally – which may be considered a last resort – and Speaking up. If an employee can Speak Up early, their concern can be remedied, hopefully before it becomes a bigger problem. We are encouraging a shift in perspective, so that employees will truly believe that their concerns will be welcomed and taken seriously. The IBE Speak Up Toolkit will support them to have these conversations.

The IBE will be launching the IBE Speak Up Toolkit with a Summer of Speak Up – a series of blogs, videos and webinars exploring the five stages of the Speak Up journey throughout July, culminating in National Whistleblower Appreciation Day on 30th July.

Interested in wellbeing in the workplace We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.