A whistleblowing case study

A whistleblowing case study from Adidas – the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world.

We spoke to Dr Markus Kuerten (Vice President Compliance & Privacy) and Wesley Hagemann (Director of Compliance) about their experience working with Safecall

“We chose Safecall as our whistleblowing services provider because we did not have the internal resources to operate a 24/7 reporting mechanism. We wanted to offer availability in terms of time and language to our employees. Our employees can access Safecall 24/7, all-year round and this is not something we can offer internally. We particularly liked the hotline, as it provides live translation for multiple languages and offers a low barrier of entry for complaints, especially in territories where English is not the first language. With Safecall, our employees have a wholly accessible range of reporting channels and feel comfortable sharing their concerns.

As a client, our experience with Safecall has been excellent. We have a long history of working together and are happy with the service provided, especially the quality of the call handlers. They accurately capture the reports and complaints, and their reports are precise and well-written. The call handlers foster real discussions and ensure confidentiality, which encourages employees to provide a full insight and information.. The reports we receive, especially from telephone reports, are actionable and of high quality. We appreciate the stability of the Safecall team and the sense of familiarity we have with them.

The feedback we have received from employees about the quality of Safecall’s hotline service has been positive. The increasing number of reports shows that our employees have confidence in the system. Using an external system mitigates the anxiety that may come with raising a concern internally. Employees have specifically mentioned that they felt happy with the results of their calls and have never given negative feedback about their experience with Safecall. They appreciate that Safecall’s approach is supportive and conversational, rather than interrogative. Our stakeholders, including the works council, have also expressed support for the processes Safecall runs.

The reports we receive from Safecall are essential to gaining insights into our company’s culture. Safecall handles the process of processing a report, allowing us to focus on instigating investigations. The hotline is particularly important as it opens reporting to all levels of employees, including those who may not have access to company devices. This accessibility empowers our employees to report concerns, regardless of their position or access to technology. Safecall’s platform is wholly accessible and user-friendly, benefiting employees with varying levels of literacy and device availability.

From a regulatory and compliance perspective, Safecall has been instrumental in helping our business. The EU Whistleblowing Directive introduced key mechanisms and requirements that Safecall complies with, ensuring our global compliance. Safecall’s service elements and best practices meet the compliance requirements across the world. Safecall’s offering goes beyond compliance: it is a crucial element in Adidas’ commitment to empowering the voices of our workers and creating the best working community possible.”