How to Encourage and Maintain Integrity in the Workplace
Workforce teams who foster integrity as a workplace value encourage positive employee experiences, respect and trust – the building blocks of providing a space where employees can perform better in their jobs.
Employers are always on the lookout for integrity in potential employees. Integrity covers most of the aspects that build workplace positivity to promote hard-working employees with moral conviction and the intuition to do what’s right.
Integrity not only presents the right brand message to your people but also promotes a healthy and harmonious workplace for positivity to nurture and grow.
So how can we foster integrity in the workplace? Firstly, we need to know how to recognise someone with integrity and why integrity is so important.
What makes up integrity in the workplace?
Integrity leads to the decision to do the right thing by co-workers, customers, and stakeholders alike. It also keeps our employees honest – after all, no one will give their business to an organisation that doesn’t keep their word.
An individual who values integrity is:
Barriers to integrity
As a value in the workplace, integrity can be challenging to cultivate. With continuous barriers faced every day, practising integrity is an ongoing commitment. It’s essential to understand the barriers you and your team will face when providing a place for integrity to prosper.
Fear of consequences
Integrity suffers in the face of fear. The consequences you have set out for your employees may be enough to cause a downward spiral of stress which can lead to dishonesty or no action taken in the face of an issue.
If an employee made an error counting stock for the day, they might get stressed or worried about getting in trouble and possibly even being let go. So, they might submit the mistake. Mix integrity into this situation, and the employee would feel safe to admit their mistake and plan to correct it.
We have all told a little white lie here or there, but when that lie turns into a wormhole of deceit, you lose integrity. We tend to compromise our integrity at times, choosing quicker but less ethical means over the more complicated, morally correct choices. But this can lead to problems that may arise later.
An example might be promising a complaining customer something beyond the capability of the company to make them go away. With integrity, we know to offer within our capabilities, sorting through any disagreements along the way.
Rationalising decisions and actions
We all have the innate ability to rationalise our behaviours, despite our knowledge of doing the right thing. We tend to justify our actions when doing wrong, making it difficult to recognise when we’ve lost integrity.
Employees who rationalise their wrongdoings too often may cause a rift in the integrity that balances your positive environment. Integrity helps inspire the accountability necessary to learn from mistakes and move forward.
Hypocrisy is a road blocker to integrity in the workplace. If you don’t follow your guidelines set out for your employees, how do you expect them to follow with integrity?
Ask yourself – do your actions match your beliefs? Do you walk the talk? If the answer is no, your employees will feel uncomfortable, tense and unwilling in a situation where their leader doesn’t show integrity.
Overcoming barriers and demonstrating integrity in the workplace
There are ways you can overcome barriers and advocate for integrity in the workplace by demonstrating. Here are a few ways that you and your employees can demonstrate integrity in the workplace.
Actively build and maintain trust
You must actively work to maintain a trusting relationship with your employees, customers and stakeholders. Use active listening and good interpersonal skills to engage with your team, encourage honesty, invest in their development and most of all, trust them.
Your team should understand that if they make a mistake, the consequences won’t put their position in danger. Promote open conversations so when problems arise, your employees feel safe to consul you about it.
Lead by example
If you boast about integrity in the workplace, make sure you practice what you preach. Put in the extra work to be an example to your team by taking responsibility, creating solutions and exceeding at your job.
Do you expect your employees to be 15 minutes early to every shift? Be 20 minutes early. Show them what workplace integrity culture is through actions – not just words.
Give and receive feedback
Feedback can encourage your employees to be dependable. It can keep them honest and working diligently. Let your employees know how their actions and behaviours contribute to workplace values and celebrate their achievements.
For example, keep your employees honest about how much value they bring to the hours they work by tracking their clocking times using workforce management software like Roubler. If they are clocking in but not working, let them know and work together to improve.
Integrity is a business buzzword appearing in just about every workplace mission statement and with good reason. Roubler promotes integrity in our workplace to provide a positive environment for our team to thrive in and for our users to trust in.
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