Integrity is not just a personal issue; it is also an organizational and cultural issue.
People across the enterprise are influenced by the rules, processes and values of an organization. Assess your current culture and consider the signals and subtle messaging it is sending to employees:
- Do clear rules exist for ethical behavior? Having guideposts, in the form of your mission statement, vision or employee handbook, will provide employees with a framework for determining what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. This is especially useful when facing tough decisions by communicating about these guideposts regularly.
- Are small misdeeds and ethical lapses tolerated? From the top executive down, it’s critical that your organization isn’t tolerating ethical lapses. Brushing one misdeed – no matter how small it may seem – under the carpet now only leads to more serious issues later.
- Where can employees report questionable activities? By including an anonymous method for reporting misconduct, you not only provide employees with a resource, you also demonstrate that integrity is important to the organization and that leadership will investigate issues.
As a leader, you play a critical part in establishing trust by demonstrating your accountability and integrity. This plays an important part of team dynamics and is a key to positive perceptions about you in the workplace.
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