Integrity equals trust. What does trust look like at work? Is it aligning your actions with the mission, and values of the company? Does it involve more than moral judgment and character, honesty and leadership values? What leadership values does having integrity require? Are those leadership values in place for the owners, executives or other decision makers within a company? What does it look like for leaders to not have integrity?
Further to that employers and employees have likely read many articles on the importance of having integrity. They like me may have questions as to the fundamentals of having and keeping integrity alive in the workplace. The first is the defining and monitoring the methodology in place regarding the efficacy of a document that outlines values to be followed in relation to the day-to-day business operations. Secondly the question may arise as to how integrity is monitored in relation to the overall success of the business. The third area that there may be questions in is what steps are taken to have a process get back on track when integrity is missing or has gone off the rails.
In my experience for integrity to be present and functioning the characteristics of trust and respect must be solidly in place first. When business owners do not trust and respect one another decision are not likely to be based on honesty and alignment with the company values. Further to that when trust and respect are missing at the ownership or leadership level they are also missing within the various employee groups within the company.
Having a reference document around integrity is valuable and for it to be fully utilized it must contain processes for managing conflict and diversity in a manner consistent with the values of the business. For integrity to be present the employer and employees need to have a mutual basis of trusting and respecting one another while maintaining a healthy respect for diversity.
In the event the business you are in as an employer or an employee is not thriving it would seem to be prudent to do a quick check as to what areas of the business are out of integrity or alignment with the stated values of the company. It may be that a quick fix solution will put the process back on track. It may mean designing a process to monitor and track day-to-day operations to identify areas where a lack of trust and respect have eroded and caused the current situation. It may mean that the owners or executives need to set aside time to relearn or begin to value one another and allow for trust and respect to show-up in interacting with one another.
Integrity is a word that takes action, courage, and a willingness to change for it to be alive and well in a workplace. As an employer, a leader, and an employee integrity requires trust and from trust comes commitment. Ask yourself what you are doing in your workplace to promote trust and commitment.
Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s,