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Integrity means doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Integrity in a workplace means our actions are consistent with our words, we are trustworthy, reliable and honest, we communicate honestly and openly, we have appropriate values, and behaviors that reflect these values, we can admit mistakes and not be afraid to show we care.

Integrity in an organization is important for fostering a positive work culture. Organizations known for their integrity have greater goodwill and better trust in the marketplace and will thereby be more successful in the long run. Clients want to deal with those companies who keep their word and deliver promises in a timely fashion. They wouldn’t want to engage in business with a firm which will employ malpractices in any manner whatsoever.

Leading by example

How important is it for the person at the pinnacle of the hierarchy to possess and exhibit the value of integrity? Turns out, it is the most important.

Many leaders are very good at ‘talking the talk’. But there are a few who always, without fail, do what they say they will. If a leader does not follow through on their commitments, then it invites others in the team to do the same. It can be a slippery slope from there, as accountability and responsibility become mere catch phrases.

There are various companies who succeeded in the short run but failed to see the light of the day owing to unethical practices. One among many would be ‘Enron’, the erstwhile American conglomerate which was enormously successful but eventually collapsed as their deviations from ethical norms were unearthed.

How to ensure integrity in the workplace

Ensuring integrity isn’t a task in the workplace if everyone personally follows integrity. However, a few pointers can make it integrate seamlessly into any organization.

Build Trusting and Respectful Relationships:

Trust and respect are the ingredients of healthy, positive workplace culture. Polite communication, respecting our colleague’s thoughts and ideas and continuously working on relationships demonstrates that we are a team player. Working as a team builds up trust and also shows that people can rely on us.

Follow company policies and protocols:

Company policies and protocols are designed to maintain a code of conduct in the organization and ensure the everybody is on the same page. Following them to the T is what is required to ensure integrity.

Admit to and Learn from  Mistakes:

It is common to make mistakes as we work, but we should admit the mistake without putting the blame on someone else. This shows that we are responsible enough to own up to our mistakes, are willing to correct them and learn from them. If we are a manager, this means taking the blame yourself, and not letting our team members take responsibility.

Our integrity is our most trusted friend as it keeps us on the right path. Let’s make it our goal to be a person of integrity always no matter how many temptations or challenges we face.

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