Among the various characteristics a leader needs to possess, integrity may possibly sit at the top. Defined, integrity means making the correct choice when faced between right and wrong. It further encompasses adherence to ethics and morals, and is often linked with honesty.
How is integrity instilled in a person?
Integrity begins before a person is faced with a decision of right or wrong. Should I tell the truth or should I lie? Should I steal that necklace or should I pay for it? Should I follow through with what I said I would do or blow off this responsibility? Should I study or cheat? It’s much easier to make the right decisions, if individuals have prepared themselves for such situations. Individuals, who possess integrity, commit to choosing right before they find themselves in a situation, which requires action.
Without integrity, individuals are untrustworthy. How does an employer promote honesty in the workplace?
Example is the best way to lead. If employers will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all situations, employees will catch on and follow suit. Rather than constantly be riding individuals about their character or criticizing individuals for poor choices, show true character through silent and humble actions.
Promote integrity in the workplace by holding ongoing seminars and trainings, regarding ethics in the workplace. Choose a value each month to discuss in the workplace at monthly meetings. This is another way to remind individuals to be thinking about good characteristics.
While some government agencies require polygraph tests in the interviewing / hiring process, most companies do not test each individual’s ability to tell the truth. Instead, a myriad of other events occur.
First, employers can do background checks on individuals. This will allow them to contact references and find out about the true characters of potential employees. Background checks will inform employers of any bad marks against an individual from the past.
Keep individuals honest by always having them work in pairs. This keeps them on their toes a bit and requires them to be accountable to a partner. Further, hold them accountable to you, as their boss.
Moving forward, companies will slowly see overtime if an individual is honest. Many like to go with the policy: “You have my trust until you violate it.” Give employees the chance to prove themselves. Give them opportunities to work on projects alone or where their integrity could otherwise be compromised. If they follow through in an honest manner, continue to trust and provide more opportunities.
Integrity is such an important part of the corporate culture. Without this trait, companies will ultimately fall. Scandals and scams will occur, if individuals are not acting with honesty and character. Promote integrity in the workplace and seek to have it define your company.