What is Integrity in the Workplace and Why is it Important?

Minakshi Sharma

Integrity is a valuable quality in the workplace, this quality makes you irreplaceable to your employer. 

Integrity is always telling the truth and adhering to strong moral and ethical beliefs and values. Integrity differs from hypocrisy in that assessing using integrity standards means considering internal consistency as a value and recommending that parties with seemingly conflicting ideas account for the gap or modify their viewpoints. 

The phrase integrity comes from the Latin adjective integer, which implies whole or complete. In this context, Integrity refers to a sense of inner "wholeness" resulting from characteristics such as honesty and moral constancy.

In this blog

What roles does integrity play in ethics?

What is integrity at workplace?

Importance of integrity in the workplace

How to demonstrate integrity in the workplace?

  1. Honesty
  2. Respect
  3. Promise Keeping
  4. Trustworthiness
  5. Reliability
  6. Responsibility
  7. Pride

Examples of Integrity in the workplace

  1. Arrive on time and work your schedule
  2. Be ready to work
  3. Make no commitments you can't keep (and Keep the Ones You Do)
  4. Be up front about your flaws
  5. Professionally handle conflict
  6. Accept personal responsibility for your behavior
  7. Keep your privacy
  8. Set a good example first and then another.
  9. Maintain accountability
  10.  Take a stand for what's right (Even if it means rocking the boat)

Tips to maintain integrity in the workplace

Key Takeaway

What Role Does Integrity Play in Ethics?

working with integrity- an important business ethic.

An individual is said to have Integrity if their actions are based on an internally consistent set of values. Reasonable, logical assumptions or postulates should support these rules. If all a person's actions, beliefs, procedures, measures, and principles are derived from a single core set of ideas, that person is said to have ethical Integrity. When these values are called into question, such as when a projected test result does not match all actual outcomes, an individual must be adaptable and willing to adjust these values to maintain consistency. Because it is a kind of accountability, flexibility is regarded as both a moral requirement and a virtue.

The belief that strenuous effort and devotion have a moral advantage and an inherent capacity, virtue, or worth to improve character and individual talents is called labour ethic. It is a set of beliefs founded on the value of labour and exemplified by a strong desire to work hard. These values are socially ingrained and are regarded as building character via hard labour appropriate to an individual's field of employment.

What is Integrity at Workplace?

Workplace integrity can be displayed in many forms, but it is most frequently associated with having upstanding character traits and work ethics such as sound judgement, honesty, dependability, and loyalty. 

When no one is watching, Integrity is described as doing the right thing (through your words, behaviours, and beliefs).

Working with Integrity requires the following:

  • You are trustworthy and dependable.
  • You are an example of an advocate for open and honest communication.
  • You are responsible for your actions.
  • Finally, Integrity is based on ideas rather than personal benefit.

 

Consequently, maintaining workplace integrity is crucial for employees at all levels, especially as they go up the corporate ladder. Integrity fosters an open and productive work environment and an ethical approach to decision-making. 

Importance of Integrity in the Workplace

If there is a lack of honesty in the office, your employees will notice. As a result, they will experience a lack of motivation, poor performance, and even discontent with the business culture, which may result in increased turnover.

When your team's Integrity is strong, it will have a more incredible camaraderie, better bonds, and a willingness to collaborate and work hard for the company.

Without question, every manager desires their staff have a strong sense of Integrity, but how can this be increased when it is low? 

This blog is brought to you by the NWORX workforce management specialists to offer advice on improving your workplace's ethics. NWORX- the next-generation technology that specialises in employee excellence and productivity enhancement. 

If you ask 10 people to define workplace integrity, you'll undoubtedly get ten different answers, most of which revolve around overall quality (such as honesty, sound judgment, dependability, or loyalty). While those specific expressions are an essential element of workplace integrity, they work together to produce a principle of conduct that goes beyond the sum of its parts.

Thus, Integrity is doing the right thing while no one scrutinizes your words, behaviours, and beliefs. At its most basic, Integrity is predicated on values — both your own and those of others — rather than selfish gain. 

How to Demonstrate Integrity in the Workplace?

how to demonstrate integrity in the workplace.

Integrity is a person's dedication to a set of ethical norms, and it is commonly linked to characteristics such as honesty, morality, dependability, responsibility, accountability, and loyalty. 

Integrity is personified by strong ethical and moral standards that are respected in all situations. This basic concept is critical for establishing strong, trust-based professional relationships, and it is a crucial attribute that companies look for in potential employees during the recruitment process.

 In the following parts, we will look at the importance of honesty and integrity examples in the workplace, how to make it one of your strengths, and the best ways for business leaders to embody it.

The traits you need to have to demonstrate Integrity at a workplace are:

  1. Honesty

Integrity and honesty are intricately interwoven, and neither can exist in isolation. For example, being open and honest with your coworkers and peers without exploiting either is an example of honesty and Integrity. However, it does not indicate making unnecessary remarks or actively lying at work.

  1. Respect

Respect is acquired via active listening. You may show concern and care by keeping an open mind and heart and giving the individual in front of you the benefit of the doubt.

Respect your peers, subordinates, and coworkers at all times. Maintaining a respectable demeanour includes avoiding disrespectful behaviours such as eavesdropping and gossiping.

  1. Keeping Promises

A trustworthy individual honours their commitments. When you ask someone to do something for you, and they claim they will but don't, you can tell they lack Integrity. This vicious loop will occur multiple times until you regret asking for their assistance.

Imagine doing it to someone else after we've all been there. Unreliability harms everyone on the team, gradually transforming them into a liability rather than an asset.

In other words, if you satisfy your commitments, your coworkers will quickly fire you. To avoid this, make commitments you know you can meet, and if you can't, call, explain why, and be honest.

 

  1. Trustworthiness

Your degree of accountability and reliability will influence your capacity to instil the critical value of trust in the workplace. Of course, it is optional to become close friends with everyone you work with to gain their confidence; there are other ways to do this.

To acquire the respect of a trustworthy person, your actions must speak for you—keeping commitments, maintaining high ethical standards, and holding yourself accountable when you are wrong are all beautiful places to start.

Because the trust may be brittle, the best way to sustain it is to maintain it with a positive attitude and constant determination.

 

  1. Reliability

Why should an employer keep an employee if they can't depend on them to do the job? An employee that requires constant supervision to guarantee they are carrying out their responsibilities is untrustworthy.

As a result, reliability is critical for sustaining workplace integrity. First, it is listening to and responding to the wants of others. Furthermore, being dependable suggests that your coworkers, potential employees, and peers can rely on you to satisfy their needs whenever convenient.

  1. Responsibility

Having a job necessitates responsibility. No matter how simple your responsibilities appear, you are responsible for them.

You display a lack of accountability when you conduct chores mindlessly. This exposes your carelessness and weakens the trust you've built with your coworkers and peers.

Being accountable means acting in a reliable and trustworthy manner. In addition, it communicates to your superiors that you may be granted further authority if necessary.

 

  1. Pride

Pride is usually associated with arrogance or a sense of entitlement. In this context, pride refers to your expectations of yourself and your coworkers.

Said pride is the satisfaction that comes from pouring your heart and soul into a project and seeing it triumph gloriously. A feeling you only receive when you know you've worked hard to achieve a task.

Taking pride in your employment also implies that you care about your work's consequences and value the individuals that work with you.

 

Examples of Integrity in the workplace

  1. Arrive on Time and Work Your Schedule

Arriving at work on time shows that you appreciate the organization and your obligations. You and your employer have agreed that you will be available for work at a particular hour or within a specific time frame.

The employer trusts you to do this and to be truthful about occasions when you were late. As a result, disregarding that agreement is not ethical.

As an illustration, you're always late, but it's just by 10 minutes, so it doesn't count. Your employees quickly realize that if you can be 10 minutes late, so can they, and some of them even go as far as 20 minutes. Your coworkers start breaking the rules in other work areas, such as leaving the office 10 minutes sooner at the end of the day and taking longer breaks.

What began as a tiny rule infraction resulted in a significant loss of production and negatively impacted motivation.

 

  1. Be Ready to Work

Integrity is displayed by a desire to get filthy rather than merely delegating and barking directions from the sidelines.

Honest employees help their coworkers and go above and beyond duty to help others.

Imagine this, you are in charge of procuring magazine advertising. Your advertisement copy has been submitted and approved because the deadline has passed. However, the amount of work necessary to get the magazine to the printers on time concerns the production staff.

Sitting back and assuming that your portion of the assignment is over so you can relax is not an example of honesty. Instead, ask how you can help the team, even if it's as simple as making coffee and getting food.

 

  1. Make no commitments you can't keep (and Keep the Ones You Do)

While it may be tempting to announce that you can do something to impress someone, your coworkers and employer will trust and respect you far more if you commit to doing things that you know you can and will do.

Imagine the situation, you describe being able to obtain props for your theatre company's production. The props are borrowed plants that must be returned on the day of the performance. So, for example, if you want to borrow a car from a friend on the day of the show, but they demand it - you need a way of getting the props.

You should never have agreed to collect the props if you knew organizing transportation would be problematic owing to a lack of trustworthy transportation. The team will respect and trust you a lot more if your state straight away that, while you would like to and may be able to participate, they should not rely on you to do so due to a lack of transportation.

 

  1. Be Up Front About Your Flaws

When it comes to your professional ability, the best policy is honesty. If you can't accomplish anything, don't act as you can.

Covering up your incapacity to complete a task may harm your coworker connections and discourage them from trusting you. It can also impact productivity since you may be wasting time on something you're struggling with when you could be focusing on something else.

As an example, consider, you are in charge of the budget for a huge event. Budgets are not your strong suit; after a few months of planning, you feel out of control. You might keep going to save face, hoping that everything would be well, or you may notify your management and team of the problem and request assistance, ensuring everything will be fine.

They can help if you tell your boss and team that you are unhappy with your current circumstances. However, it is best, to be honest in the short term rather than persevere and cause a disaster that affects all your coworkers.

 

  1. Professionally Handle Conflict

Workplace conflict ensues when personalities collide, and one person's ideas differ from another's.

Dealing with conflicts professionally that keep the problem from getting personal demonstrates Integrity. Respectfully listen to and consider what the other person says.

As an example, consider, things may get heated when a coworker feels their strategy is superior to yours.

Keep your cool and be courteous while making valuable suggestions. Do not get personal (for example, 'I seem to recall you getting a formal warning the last time you tried to be creative,') and avoid raising your voice or making hand gestures. Engage only with the ideas provided rather than with the person expressing them.

 

  1. Accept Personal Responsibility for Your Behavior

Making excuses for your mistakes may convey the impression that you are untrustworthy. Accepting responsibility and acknowledging errors demonstrates honesty.

Because no one is always flawless, it is preferable to demonstrate your capacity to accept responsibility rather than transfer blame or try to conceal anything.

Covering up anything with a small lie may encourage you to tell more and more falsehoods until you get bewildered with your tale and are discovered. In addition, your connection with your employer and coworkers may suffer as a result.

Take the situation, you were meant to notify the bottled water firm that you had enough water for the workplace this month and did not want a delivery, but you failed to do so, and a delivery driver arrived with 10 full bottles. As a result, your employer is wondering why the order was not cancelled.

It may be tough to acknowledge anything when someone is upset about the issue. Still, it is best to be honest, and accept responsibility for failing to pass on the message rather than blaming others or accusing the water company of making a mistake.

Your boss will realize that they can trust you and that you would not deceive them.

 

  1. Keep Your Privacy

While it may be tempting to give personal information to shed light on a problem or to feel empowered, maintaining anonymity is an essential component of being a trusted employee or employer.

Imagine this, your manager informs you quietly that one of your team members has been diagnosed with cancer and will be off for a month. He requests that you maintain secrecy by not disclosing the information. In the canteen, you overhear your coworkers discussing how the employee is on leave because he has a new girlfriend and wants to spend time with her.

Regardless of how tempting it is to defend the employee and inform your coworkers of the truth, the matter has been kept confidential for a reason and breaching that confidentiality will mean breaching the trust between you and your employer, as well as the trust between your coworker and your employer.

 

  1. Set a good example first and then another.

You should set a positive example for others, regardless of your position or standing in the organization.

Those who lead by example provide an excellent example for others to follow.

As an example, consider, a coworker continues to leave the workplace to make phone calls, print non-business paperwork, and charge personal goods to costs. Suppose those around them witness the individual getting away with it. In that case, they may begin to let their principles slip since it's 'only one personal document to be printed' or prefer to make the phone call during work rather than after work.

The coworker here is leading by example; other employees are following suit, and general standards are slipping.

 

  1. Maintain accountability

Integrity is about being self-aware and helping those around you. It is simple to focus on your task, leave when it is over, and tune out everything else around you. But on the other hand, being accountable necessitates accepting responsibility for positive outcomes.

By isolating yourself and not functioning as part of a team, only doing what is asked of you, you send the message that you don't care if the overall situation is good or terrible and will not assist others in achieving the shared positive goal.

As an example, consider, you're going on vacation and will be gone when a report you regularly file is due. So instead of leaving your colleagues to piece together something they need help understanding, you invest time before you leave guiding a colleague through the process so that at least one other person understands how to complete the project.

As a result, you accept responsibility for the outcomes of work for which you are accountable, even if you are not personally involved in its execution.

 

  1. Take a Stand for What's Right (Even if It Means Rocking the Boat)

The distinction between keeping the peace and standing up for what is right is razor-thin. However, if the problem is causing harm to the company or its employees, you must act with Integrity and speak up for what you believe is right.

Suppose the firm is determined to be discriminating against someone because of a protected feature. In that case, this can assist them in avoiding a lawsuit (race, colour, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy and genetic information).

As an example, consider, you protest to senior management because your boss is forcing your pregnant employee to move heavy boxes.

OR

When someone makes an offensive remark about a homosexual employee, instead of laughing along with everyone else, you explain why the statement is inappropriate before filing a complaint with their line manager or further up the management chain.

 

Tips to Maintain Integrity in the Workplace

Individuals with Integrity have a variety of other desirable qualities, such as self-awareness, honesty, and a sense of responsibility for themselves and their work. Employers feel that employees with Integrity are more trustworthy and easier to work with than those who do not. Integrity in the workplace encourages employees to be more dependable and honest, increasing the probability of gaining the trust of others.

Some tips which will come in handy to maintain Integrity in the workplace are:

1. Remember that most people are less ethical than they think.

2. Establish ethical norms early on in new collaborations.

3. Prepare to redefine long-standing relationships' ethical norms.

4. Support your team's efforts to maintain high ethical standards by discussing and resolving moral quandaries.

5. Pay special attention to the particulars. Prepare yourself.

6. Utilize the communication process.

7. Poise questions.

8. Maintain vigilance over your scepticism.

9. Look at things as they are, not as you would like them to be.

10. Have faith that virtue brings its reward.

Key TakeAway

People admire people who demonstrate Integrity because they know the person is trustworthy, honest, and dependable.

Employers will be more comfortable with employees who demonstrate Integrity; they may give them more responsibility, promote them sooner, trust them to represent the company publicly, allow them to lead a team, and share confidential information with them.

To know more about NWORX and it's capabilities, please talk to us.

References: 

https://www.michaelpage.com.au/advice/career-advice/productivity-and-performan

https://www.betterup.com/blog/integrity-in-the-workplace

https://www.interviewkickstart.com/career-advice/what-is-integrity-in-the-workplace

https://matchbuilt.com/blog/examples-of-integrity-in-the-workplace/

https://getsling.com/blog/integrity-in-the-workplace/

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/blog/integrity-in-the-workplace/

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