Integrity in the workplace

1 February 2023

Workplace Integrity

What does it mean to have professional integrity?

Why is it so important?

What does it look like to act with integrity?

With the advent of remote working, has the importance of integrity in the workplace been diminished?

Does it no longer command the respect it once had?

Let’s find out.

Why is integrity in the workplace important?

Firstly, what is integrity in the workplace? The cliche answers might be mutual respect, loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability, and they’re all true – but they are often only attributed to higher management. True workplace integrity can only exist when it has the participation of everyone in the company involved. It’s only when the going gets tough and the strength of these virtues is properly tested that we find out how robust a company’s commitment to integrity truly is.

Recently, integrity in the workplace has been used and abused as a marketing tool; savvy marketing departments understand the power that promoting integrity and positive culture can bring, and they’ve used them to paint a positive picture of their company. That’s all well and good if the company in question really does have a great culture and integrity, but it only takes one disgruntled employee to bring the curtain crashing down, Wizard of Oz style, and tarnish a company’s reputation, perhaps irreparably.

But, acting with integrity shouldn’t just be about gaining likes on LinkedIn, it should really mean something. But how do you display integrity in the workplace?

Examples of integrity in the workplace can include:

  • Having principles and sticking to them
  • Being generous with your time
  • Being trustworthy and reliable
  • Being a champion of equality
  • Actively encouraging your colleagues to better themselves and the business
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Encouraging honesty and openness
  • Honesty and accountability: taking responsibility for your own actions and accepting the consequences of those actions

Why is integrity at work important?

It’s important for everyone in the workplace to actively work on these attributes. When integrity in the workplace is taken seriously by everyone in the organisation – when people place values over personal gain – individuals and businesses thrive:

  • It makes you a more attractive prospect when interviewing for internal jobs
  • Work output becomes more consistent and people feel empowered to go the extra mile for the company
  • The level of work improves automatically
  • Respectful and trusting relationships are formed between co-workers and different levels of seniority
  • Open and honest communication becomes commonplace
  • Company rules and regulations are abided by
  • Supports responsible behaviour in every aspect of a person’s work
  • Empowers employees to be confident in their work and to speak up about concerns without fear of rejection

When everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, it makes a massive positive difference to overall job satisfaction, people’s attitude to their work, productivity, profit, and the desire to see the company and colleagues prosper.

What does a lack of integrity in the workplace mean?

Conversely, a lack of integrity in the workplace breeds the exact opposite results. The inability to distinguish the difference between acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour is the major factor. Lack of integrity in the workplace examples include being happy to throw others under the bus at the first opportunity (either to further your own career or to wiggle yourself out of a tough spot), asking for feedback and then not acting upon it, and not doing your fair share of the work. These actions do nothing but breed contempt, create a toxic atmosphere, reduce productivity, and faith in the company’s goals is no longer a priority. The dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-themselves attitude prevails and everything suffers as a consequence.

Honesty and integrity in the workplace are not a given; they must be earned, willingly, by all involved. It’s not an easy thing to achieve but the rewards are plain for all to see.

How to improve integrity in the workplace

The Speakers’ Gym’s change management courses can help you to install integrity as a core value in your business. We’ll discover any current issues that you or your business might be experiencing and we’ll deconstruct them together honestly and fairly. By identifying the root causes of these problems, we can begin to build a firm basis of trust, respect and integrity in the workplace again.

If you have any questions regarding our leadership courses, either for your leadership teams or your organisation as a whole, then drop us a line and we’ll be glad to take you through the process in more detail. We’ve worked with businesses of all sizes to help implement professional integrity – from start-ups to world-famous international conglomerates – and we’re confident that we can make your culture more robust and your business more profitable.

Bring integrity to your business with The Speakers’ Gym, contact us online.

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