Warehouse Workers Before Regulators: Hellmann Logistics’ People-Centric Approach to Compliance

Hellmann Logistics

Hellmann Logistics takes a people-centric approach to innovating within their compliance program using BRYTER.

What happens when you design a compliance program with employees front of mind, ahead of regulators? In short, more people know about and comply with policies, reducing company risk and giving compliance teams confidence in the strength of their programs.

Dominik Waszczynski is Head of Global Compliance at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, an international freight and logistics company active in over 160 countries with over 13,000 employees. The organization’s global footprint presents a challenge when it comes to designing a compliance program to address everything from anti-bribery and anti-fraud to trade compliance. While many compliance teams might solely look to regulators when designing such a program, Dominik and Hellmann put the employee experience first, knowing that if people know about company policies, and can easily follow them, then compliance and risk reduction will result naturally.

To achieve this goal, Hellmann used BRYTER, a platform that allows legal and compliance experts to create digital tools and automated workflows without coding. The platform has been adopted not just by Hellmann’s compliance department, but also by the legal department. Here, we speak with Dominik about what the compliance department built, why they built it, and the impact it has had on the company.

A whistleblower hotline made for the people who need to use it

As a qualified lawyer with an extensive background in regulatory matters, Dominik Waszczynski commands a clear understanding of whistleblower regulations. But he also understands something equally important: how emotionally and psychologically difficult it is for a whistleblower to come forward and report an issue.

In a whistleblowing scenario, it’s important for the employee to feel safe and to have control over the information they present, including anonymity when they desire it. At the same time, it’s also important for the compliance department to have as much visibility into the process and the claims presented as possible. There can be no blind spots. That’s why when creating the company’s centralized compliance program, Dominik made sure there was an embedded whistleblower hotline that was highly visible, highly accessible, and easy to use for both the whistleblower and the compliance department.

Choosing the right software for the job

“We were looking for whistleblower hotline software with two primary requirements in mind — it had to be fully customizable to our company’s processes and it had to be a great experience for the end user. Both of these things were critical for us to achieve our goal of having a hotline that was accessible, easy to use, and effective. We evaluated around 10 point solutions — software specifically designed for a whistleblower use case — and none of them met our needs. They were all very expensive, said the things we wanted to do were not possible, and had poor or limited customer support,” Dominik explained.

“We chose BRYTER because it has such broad functionality and is designed specifically for legal and compliance. We can use it to create digital solutions customized to our own policies and processes, and build for a range of use cases rather than only one. BRYTER is like a Swiss Army Knife; you can use it to digitize anything.”

Dominik Wszczynski of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

The whistleblower hotline: How it works and gives the compliance team confidence

Our previous whistleblowing process, while meeting regulatory requirements, was not as easy to find or easy to use. This meant fewer issues were reported,” Dominik told us.

“Using BRYTER, we built a new whistleblower hotline which is incredibly easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere, and on any device, including mobile. The tool can be easily used by everyone – from our staff in warehouses to regional sales teams.”

Hellmann Logistics Whistleblower Tool
Hellmann’s Whistleblower Tool is available to all employees, easily accessed from any device via the company’s intranet.

With the new tool in place, we asked if engagement had increased — if more people across the organization were actually using it.

“It’s a huge leap,” Dominik responded. “Because the tool is so accessible, we have seen a major increase in the number of issues reported. Of course, many of these issues are minor and require no further action, but the increased usage gives us confidence and clarity. We are confident that we have the full picture, and that everyone knows how to report an issue. Therefore, if there are no issues, this is truly an accurate picture, rather than a problem with detection. With our tool built on BRYTER, we can communicate with whistleblowers effectively and we have full documentation for the report and follow-up.”

Throughout our conversation, Dominik emphasized ease of use. After all, what good is a tool if no one is using it?

“For a whistleblower hotline to be effective, it must be accessible and easy to use. The tool we built with BRYTER is just that. In the first five seconds of opening the tool, the user must be guided and encouraged to proceed with reporting their issue. You cannot create barriers, for example, due to lengthy and complicated or irrelevant questions. We ensured that the hotline was easily accessible by making it available virtually everywhere, including on mobile devices, and we marketed it extensively internally: The tool is included in flyers, posters, in our newsletter, on our intranet, and in management training.”

Hellmann Logistics Whistleblower Tool
The Whistleblower Tool guides users step-by-step through their process, asking only questions relevant to their issue, so they can create a report efficiently and with confidence.

For a whistleblower hotline to be effective, it must be accessible and easy to use. The tool we built with BRYTER is just that.

As advanced as the tool is, its place in Hellmann Worldwide Logistics’ compliance program is built on a foundational principle of compliance management.

Dominik explained, “The core pillars of any compliance management program are to prevent, detect and respond. In order to identify and remediate any shortcomings, you must have an effective system of detection. Our whistleblower hotline built with BRYTER is one of the core pieces of our compliance management program when it comes to detection.”

When a report has been submitted, the appropriate person on Hellmann’s compliance team is automatically notified.

What’s next for compliance at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

In continuing to make it as easy as possible for employees to comply with company policies, Hellmann is now automating the company’s gift and hospitality policy. “By turning a static document into a living digital document, we are making it easier for people to comply with our gift and hospitality policy, and we give our teams the confidence to know that any client interactions they have are safe and compliant,” explained Dominik.

Elaborating on his philosophy as Head of Global Compliance, Dominik shared, “Transparency and documentation are at the core of any good compliance program,” but what sets Hellmann’s compliance department apart from so many others is their focus on the end user: the warehouse worker, not just the regulator. “We design our programs with the users — the people in our company — front of mind. We prioritize that people actually use our tools so that we can be sure we have increased the flow of information, we’ve raised the quality level of our reporting, and we’ve gained the confidence to know the house is clean and we can rely on our programs.”

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