Is it possible to encourage integrity if we cannot define it? Telling your employees to maintain integrity is like telling someone in Alaska that it is cold outside. You are both stating the obvious while being vague. The range of definitions vary greatly from person to person. An attitude to encourage integrity in the culture of your business is still critical to sustainable success. Consider these four ways to encourage integrity in your business:
The culture of your business starts with you. Your employees observe you more than you realize. They observe the way you speak, the way you eat, and even what shoes you wear. Be the shining example of high integrity by allowing transparency between the management team and the employees. Peer pressure is a strong influence. Humans have a habit of mimicking the habits of others. When one employee steals ink pens, others will steal ink pens. When one commits to staying late for extra projects, others will follow her lead. A clear code of ethics gives the team a gold standard to follow. Set the bar high and set it early. Be wary of the pressure to lower that bar of excellence and resist it at every turn. Finally, maintain proper processes for ethical decision-making. The are many well documented and proven processes for helping your team make decisions. Avoid leaving control up to a single member or small groups. Insist of following a process to avoid conflict.
Ethical standards in your business are as important as your products and marketing. Unethical business practices will eventually result in business failure. Insist on high and clear standards for operation and give your employees a better chance at being great.
How do you define ethics in business? Please share your thoughts?
How do we define and encourage integrity? Is is an elusive concept with countless definitions. Without it, your business will fail. It is difficult to define because the words we use to define integrity are also vague. Reliability, honesty, commitment are all definitions of integrity but are not clearly defined. A successful business person once said “I cannot define integrity but I know it when I see it”.
- Be true to your own values.
- Adopt a culture of integrity.
- Develop a clear code of ethics.
- Maintain clear decision-making processes.