The Importance of Integrity
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many things. One of which is the need for integrity in the workplace. Since the pandemic forced companies to close offices most of the workforce has been working from home.
WFH highlights the work ethic of employees more than ever before. Since no one is supervising, each employee is expected to work with honesty and deliver their work. While working from home it is very easy for employees to slack off and work less than they are supposed to.
Therefore, it comes down to an employee’s sense of honesty. If your employees are not honest, productivity will suffer. However, if you have created a positive environment that encourages ethical behaviour, your productivity should not suffer, whether you work online or offline.
Ethics refers to a code of conduct and behaviour based on integrity. It is one of the most important character traits. Integrity communicates the values we hold. In many ways, it is essential for a successful professional and personal life.
In short, integrity is the most fundamental trait of any professional. Team leaders and executives fully embrace it. Most business recruiters look for it when recruiting new employees.
Furthermore, businesses that value integrity will expect it from their employees as well. Through Integrity, we get to show sound ethical and moral principles. It is crucial for a healthy work environment and to promote meaningful employee engagement.
Why Integrity Matters?
We cannot overlook integrity. A person that has integrity adheres to strong values and standards. They focus on the wellbeing of everyone around them. They show the correct behaviour and respect. In short, they can be trusted.
Here are a few benefits of integrity in the workplace:
1. Dedicated to Work
Ethics in the workplace is all about dedication to work. It ensures that employees work during work hours. It also involves socialisation only during breaks. Integrity is an important part of business ethics due to the following reasons:
- Consistency in character.
Employees that showcase integrity are accountable for everything they do. They follow company rules and policies. You can count on them to own up to their mistakes. Thus, anyone who shows high integrity will attract more people.
3. Modelling Positive Behaviour
Business leaders know that modelling behaviour is important. It provides a source of inspiration to others. Furthermore, it shows that you can go above and beyond.
Whether it is about employees cleaning up their desks before leaving work, or monitoring the environment, integrity serves a purpose. It is, therefore, about having a conviction to do something for the better.
Working every day can be tough. This is why employees need reassurance as it makes them feel that the organisation values their efforts. Integrity builds on reassurance. Moreover, it focuses on encouraging everyone to take part in meeting deadlines.
5. Moral Principles
When someone has integrity, it means that they are firm and honest in their moral principles. People who have personal integrity have a sound moral compass. They are motivated to do what is right and avoid what would be deemed wrong.
These people do not care about the consequences. They will always choose the right path.
There are various forms of integrity. However, there are certain essential traits like good judgment, loyalty, and honesty. A person who has integrity would also do the following:
- Ensure their actions and words are consistent.
- Communicate openly and honestly.
- Admit mistakes and show that they care.
Forms of Integrity
1. Internal Integrity
Internal Integrity is the deepest level. This focuses on doing the right thing – even if nobody is watching. An internally integral person would always do the right thing. They would not care about how others see them.
2. External Integrity
As the name suggests, external Integrity is what someone shows to the people around them. Therefore, anyone who has high external integrity would have consistent thoughts and actions.
3. Image Integrity
Finally, image integrity. This is similar to external, above. When you display the right actions, are your actions thought of in the right way? Are leaving the room open for interpretation? Perhaps people will make the wrong assumptions. Hence, it is important to consider image integrity.
Integrity holds significant value in the workplace. It helps create a positive environment.
Such a workplace would feature the following:
- A strong moral compass.
- Good decision-making skills.
- Open communication.
If there are distrust and irresponsible behaviour(s) in the workplace, employees will feel uncomfortable. Employees that show honesty and promote positive values would have an easier time gaining trust. Moreover, others would also respect them.
Not only is it important from a personal level, but also within the workplace. Organisations known for showing integrity tend to perform better. Customers only want to deal with companies that keep to their word. Therefore, the organisation should practice what they preach.
Tips for Boosting Workplace Integrity
Below are some tips on how it can be boosted in the workplace:
1. Build Respectful Relationships
Mutual respect and trust are essential to ensuring a positive work environment. Employees should be encouraged to communicate politely and respect everyone’s ideas.
Such behaviour would show empathy and consideration. Consequently, being a team player should be emphasised.
2. Focus on Honest and Open Communication
It can be difficult to communicate in the workplace. Often, employees feel the need to watch what they say at every step. However, honest and open communication is essential to boost integrity. Therefore, organisations should offer a safe and positive work environment to encourage this.
3. Developing Company Policies
Another tip that will help create the right environment is developing company policies. The company policies should guide employees to follow best practices. The policies will help prevent mistakes, problems, and bad decisions.
4. Admit and Learn from Mistakes
As everyone is bound to make mistakes, it is important to create an environment where employees can admit and learn from their mistakes. Instead of blaming someone, they should admit their mistake and correct it. Such behaviour should be rewarded.
Integrity sets the organisation on the right path. It should be the goal of each employee to work with it. Having the courage to do the right thing when it might seem difficult is integral. In a world full of temptations, displaying its values will make a difference.
For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Leadership Skills and our Leadership Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Leadership Skills Tips and articles.