What’s an Ombuds

In the business arena, an organizational ombuds is a neutral designee who facilitates the resolution of concerns of employees or other stakeholders. The role of the ombuds is to help resolve conflicts, issues or concerns and to bring systemic concerns to the attention of the organization.

The ombuds protects the confidentiality of those reporting concerns, maintains a neutral and impartial position and operates independently.

Companies either establish ombuds offices or obtain outside ombuds services for a number of reasons, including:

  • Uncovering or preventing misconduct
  • Avoiding loss related to misconduct, such as legal costs and loss of productivity and resources
  • Improving employee morale and productivity while promoting and rewarding employee loyalty
  • Complying with legal and regulatory requirements

Because trust in the reporting process is essential for an internal reporting process to work, in-house ombuds offices often lack the credibility needed to ensure independence in the minds of employees and other stakeholders, regardless of the sincerity of their intentions.

Ombuds, particularly one such as IOS with more than 30 ombuds professionals with unquestioned credential and diversity, also can assist companies with post-reporting services, such as investigation, mediation and training. In-house ombuds offices overwhelmed or under-resourced often turn to outside support in these areas.

Read more about ombuds and its history

Through our unique structure, our depth of expertise and diversity and the judgment that comes with these traits, Independent Ombuds Services is able to offer companies the standard ombuds characteristics and skills but also services with maximum efficiency and flexibility, custom-designed to a company’s operations and culture, all with no capital commitment and at lower overall costs.