“Ewww…I don’t think I want to know” or Are you looking with the Right Light?

I recently visited our Amitai (partner) office in Mexico City for a sales kick-off meeting. Mexico City is a lot like NYC, very cosmopolitan, but be cautious. There is amazing food, wonderful people and a love of art and color that rivals any culture around the world. When packing for the trip, I planned on being an adventurous eater. I also knew that as a start-up company, we would not be staying at the Ritz…

I brought a UV flashlight that I had actually bought for my nephews as a novelty. Certain “unpleasant” things show up under UV light that normal light won’t show; stains, counterfeit money…unpleasant stuff. After I checked into the hotel, I turned off the lights and turned on the UV light; Nothing. A big shout-out to Flow Suites (@flowsuites)!!! Clean bathroom, bedroom, mini kitchen, floors, walls… I am not even a germ-o-phobe but I slept better knowing that everything was clean.

I told a “fellow traveler” that I checked our hotel with a UV light and he said, “Eww, I don’t think I would want to know…” Why not? In fact, why as a society do we “not want to know”? Would it be too difficult or awkward to ask the front desk for a new set of linen? As an Army Ranger, I once spent 11 hours in a swamp, but if I am paying for a hotel, I want clean sheets.

Companies have adopted a “Eww, I don’t want to know” attitude. Yes, they do background checks on job applicants. That’s easy. It’s like checking the reviews of a hotel before you book. It’s impersonal. What if there was an easy way to shine a “UV light” on your employees…and, more importantly, correct problems early and discreetly?

That’s what Global Ethics Solutions does. Anonymous “event” reporting is like shining a UV light on your company. It lets you see problems that are normally hidden. It allows management to make changes that do not disrupt business. One of our early clients was a company that manufactured dangerous materials. They wanted us to identify an individual who was writing “odd” things on the bathroom stall at work. They contacted our partner, Amitai, who is the leader in Integrity Testing in Central and South America. However, integrity wasn’t the problem. If an individual at work has “unpleasant” issues, the coworkers usually know; they just don’t want to speak up publically. An anonymous “help” line was the answer.

Companies need skills and labor; the source is people. We can’t always be picky, but we have to protect the company. Some jobs have a “fog a mirror” requirement. Years ago at Oracle, I spent months unsuccessfully trying to convince Cargill to upgrade their outdated HR system to better manage skills and competencies. At one point, the project leader said to me, “We hire people to clean chicken coops…” Think about that. They could show up to the job interview and get hired with a mullet and an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt.

An anonymous reporting system protects the company. We can help with that. or