More than ever, it's important to keep lines of communication open with employees and to make sure they can air grievances without fear of retaliation.
Reason: Copycat whistle-blowing could become a trend in 2003 now that Time magazine named a trio of corporate whistle-blowers as its Persons of the Year for 2002. The three women were honored for pointing out wrong-doing at Enron, WorldCom and the FBI.
HR observers say this canonization of whistle-blowers could empower more employees to speak out against what they perceive as wrongdoing. And one disgruntled employee's call to a government agency like OSHA or the IRS could bring trouble, whether it's justified or not.