In the workplace, we can encounter people who don’t act appropriately—from a coworker frequently checking his phone to colleagues who try to cut corners to finish their work earlier. These are issues that need to be addressed but dealing with them can be tricky. Going to a superior to report a coworker may make you feel like a snitch. On the other hand, doing nothing can make a bad situation even worse.

To help you handle the matter, we should discuss the difference between reporting a serious concern and snitching at work.

What Could Happen If I Report a Concern?

When considering whether to report a concern, you should ask yourself what would happen if you did nothing. If the answer is that nothing would change much, then maybe it’s an issue not worth addressing. However, if addressing the matter is in the best interest of you and the company, then you can do it without coming off as a snitch.

Before you go to your manager, keep a couple of things in mind:

Talk to the person

A conversation is an opportunity to express your concerns and have a discussion without judgment. It shows that you want to understand differences and find similarities. If you are thinking about reporting a colleague, you should talk to him or her first. The person probably won’t react well the first time, and you should avoid making the interaction seem like a confrontation. Asking your manager or supervisor to take care of it will probably cause your coworker to lose trust in you.

Focus on the problem

If someone had a task to complete and failed, then it’s that person’s problem. Right? The main issue here is that a task hasn’t been completed, which can potentially affect the company’s revenue. When approaching your supervisor about the issue, don’t focus on the person but the problem. Rather than storming in and saying how he or she is the worst coworker ever, focus on the issue and how you cannot resolve it on your own. Don’t trash talk and be sure to ask for advice.

Creating a Company Culture based on Teamwork

Workplace issues, especially accidents and anything else that affects workplace safety, should always be reported. Health and safety managers should build an organizational culture where reporting is not viewed as snitching but as good teamwork. It is something that protects personnel and helps the organization, meaning that it’s a win-win for everyone. The employer has less potential risk due to injury liability, and personnel will stay safer on the job.

The three integral components for creating a culture of safety within a company are:

Employee personality

Health and safety managers look out for personality traits associated with people who are the least likely to cause an accident. Those traits can be identified thanks to behavioral assessments that help managers in hiring safety-conscious employees and training current employees to develop safety-conscious habits and attitudes.

Employee engagement

If personnel face safety issues during their daily work, they want the health and safety managers to be aware of those issues. Companies that involve their personnel in the process of building a culture of safety will most likely have greater success in establishing it.


Everything begins at the top of the company. Leaders need to know the safety perceptions of their employees to be able to ensure that their personnel will develop safety-conscious work attitudes and habits.


Creating a safety-oriented organizational culture that is based on teamwork requires a strong attitude towards reporting serious issues.

If a coworker is doing something that may put others in danger, it is something that the supervisor needs to know. If an employee reports a concern with the good of the team and company in mind, that is not snitching.

Tags: workplace safety, inspection management, inspection best practices


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