Importance of Honesty and Integrity in the Workplace
Understanding the importance of conducting ourselves with honesty and integrity is something most of us are taught at an early age.
Other children would yell “Liar, liar, pants on fire” if we were fibbing to our friends or peers, letting us know, however childishly, that our actions were wrong.
As you get older, this honesty integrates with integrity, a trait that also encourages understanding, openness, and self-respect.
To put it bluntly, integrity is important within any context: but in the workplace, it is the cornerstone of professional attitude and behaviour.
It’s no secret that a workplace which encourages a culture of honesty and integrity is a healthier one, for both the organisation and the individual.
For businesses, it helps foster an open and positive working environment with an ethical approach to decision making.
For the individual, it places more emphasis upon dependability and respect; traits that play big parts in career growth, personal development, and overall success.
But what does honesty and integrity really look like in the context of a workplace environment?
Read on to find out more about how to instill and protect these positive behaviours in the workplace.
Being ‘reliable’ sounds easy, right?
And it mostly is. Essentially, all it involves is showing up for work on time, being punctual for meetings, completing your work and not mucking around on company time.
But let’s be honest. Almost everyone is late from time-to-time. We can get behind on our tasks. And we can get distracted by gossip and people horsing around. The important thing, though, is that these don’t become regular habits that negatively impact on your personal performance and the smooth running of the business.
So, whenever you commit yourself to a role or a task, do your very best to stick to it.
Think Before You Speak
Taking time to fully think about your words and their impact makes the workplace that extra bit healthier.
We all want to blurt out what we’re thinking from time to time, especially when we’re nervous or angry. But, in doing so, you’re saying things that are potentially offensive, incorrect, or downright harmful.
Not everything can be positive, so make sure that any criticism you have towards another employee or process is constructive.
This won’t just help you build longer lasting professional bonds with your colleagues, it also promotes an environment of openness, thereby minimising the risk of bad habits like gossiping or gaslighting creeping in and pervading the organisation as a whole.
Acknowledge Your Mistakes
People make mistakes. We’re only human, after all.
But what separates someone with integrity from someone without it is their willingness to acknowledge and accept the errors they make.
Doing so requires confidence, honesty, and a fair amount of courage.
A mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, when you do make a mistake – and we all do – try to learn from it so that you can avoid repeating it and help others avoid the mistake you previously made.
Think About Other People’s Point of View
It’s only natural that workplace disputes are going to happen from time-to-time.
But it’s how you deal with these disputes, both as an individual or organisation, that will demonstrate whether you’re acting with integrity or not.
So, whenever you find yourself in the middle of a disagreement with a colleague or customer, take the time to view it from their perspective and ask yourself: why are they acting like that; and how can you reach a compromise?
While your opinion may not change, it still shows your willingness to understand the opposing view before putting forward a balanced and sensible solution.
After all, sometimes conflict is good. Being challenged allows us to think differently, which in itself demonstrates a great deal of maturity and humility.
Lead By Example
People often assume that it’s only the senior employees within a company that need to lead by example.
But that’s not true.
No matter what your role or level, you should strive to be a positive example to all your colleagues – an example that sets the standards of your business.
The best leaders aren’t just the ones who say things; they’re the ones who go out there and do them.
After all, you’re not going to follow someone who isn’t willing to do the very thing they’re telling you to do, are you?
Praise Your Colleagues Success
We all want to feel appreciated from time to time. To be told that our hard work is meaningful.
And the same applies to other people, too.
That’s why it’s so important to pat your colleagues on the back when they deserve it, and celebrate their success.
A culture of mutual positive reinforcement will make all the difference when it comes to personal and company-wide high performance.
Be True To Yourself
Standing by your own personal morals at work can be challenging.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The trick? Always live by a higher personal code than your workplace.
But this doesn’t mean ignoring people cutting corners or acting disrespectfully. It means standing up for what you believe in.
In doing so, not only are you demonstrating integrity, but also a deep belief in yourself and what you think is important. And people will respect you for it all the more.
Understanding the importance of building and maintaining a positive workplace culture is our passion here at Tribe365.
And the value of honesty and integrity cannot be underestimated.
Get in touch with Tribe365 today if you feel like negative behaviours in your organisation are beginning to negatively impact employee and company performance.
Our change management programmes and services tangibly measure organisational culture, and directly show businesses how to turn negative behaviours into great ones that generate success.