What happens when you hit the red button?

button-308583_1280In today’s post, Seth Godin suggests that everyone should have a red button. When they hit the button, it should instantly alert the CEO or someone who willingly takes responsibility for what happens next. Godin says that people could hit the red button when facing sexual harassment, safety concerns, bribe requests, and the likes.

It’s a great idea. For many large organizations, the red button is a metaphor for their existing ethics & compliance program, staffed with dozens or hundreds of E&C professionals who jump into action when an allegation is made.

Godin’s post was aimed at organizations who don’t have a red button. For those who do, there are two questions to consider:

  1. Will our employees push the button?
  2. What will happen to them after they push the button?

The fear of retaliation is real. Retaliation is real.

The ethical leader will reduce the fear of retaliation by telling her employees that she wants to hear their concerns, by addressing those concerns in a meaningful and visible way, by rewarding those who come forward, and by not tolerating any form of retaliation.

If you face retaliation after hitting the red button, will you push it again to report the retaliation?

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