The repeated attempts by Barclays' Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jes Staley to uncover the identity of a whistleblower at the British bank demonstrates how employees' confidence in their ability to raise grievances can be easily shattered, according to the partner of a consultancy which helps firms to establish robust whistleblowing systems.
"Jes Staley has, at a stroke, punctured the trust that his workforce has in this incredibly important thing," Dino Bossi, partner at Addveritas, told CNBC's Squawk Box on Tuesday.
While conceding that Staley's first attempt to discover the complaint's identity could potentially be considered as the less offensive if the CEO was truly ignorant of the process's legal protections, persisting with the attempt once the inquiry had concluded was a more serious action, according to Bossi.
"That does reveal a fundamental lack of understanding in the central importance to trust and confidence around having a successful whistleblowing system," he added.
Bossi contends that whistleblowers are looking for three guarantees when they decide to raise a concern about a wrongdoing in their workplace. Firstly, they want systems which they can access, secondly, they want their confidentiality to be protected and finally, they want to know that the concern they have raised has been sufficiently addressed.
"If they don't believe that, your whistleblowing system can be the most expensive, best of breed system in the world but nobody will ever use it," asserted the Addveritas partner.