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What Is Integrity In The Workplace? Why Is It Important?

In today’s working world, employees are no longer conformed to the traditional compensation and benefits packages offered by companies. In fact, employees today are looking beyond mere compensation and are more vocal in terms of what they seek from an employee – flexible work arrangements, vibrant work culture, enhanced medical coverage and so on.

Given the changing “characteristics” of the workforce today, companies are constantly struggling to find the right employee perks to attract and retain talents. Moreover, not all companies are tech mammoths – the likes of Google and Facebook – and lack capital to offer extravagant perks to their employees.

However as the saying goes, money (or capital in the business sense) does not necessarily translate to happiness. Most of the time, it is simple things that goes a long way in making a huge difference and impact in the workplace.

According to a study recently conducted by Future Workplace and Kronos in 2017, it was found that majority of employers (87%) indicated that improving retention within the company is highest on the list of priorities for companies. And in order to reduce high turnover, fostering a positive, engaging and transparent work culture can help to reduce destructive behaviours such as fraud or blackmails.

Integrity in the workplace

As defined by Merriam-Webster, integrity is defined as a “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values”.

While integrity is commonly viewed as a personal value to be held by the employee, it is also crucial for companies to take ownership of cultivating a work culture that promotes integrity.

Based on the survey results, a quarter of respondents mentioned that they are unable to fully trust their employers. Additionally, half of the survey respondents highlighted that they have the impression that they are not being told the full information and facts regarding their career advancement in their jobs.

According to Lynn S. Paine, the John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, “Unethical business practices involves the tacit, if not explicit, cooperation of others and reflects the values, attitudes, belief, language, and behavioral patterns that define an organisation’s operating cultures”.

This suggests that while integrity is traditionally seen as an inherent trait of an employee, more often than not, it could be the influence of surrounding co-workers that trigger acts of dishonesty within the organisation.

Practice instead of merely believing

While there is no doubt that integrity is a trait that everyone within in the organisation values, employees should instead practice these behaviors instead of merely believing in it. Top management and the HR department should also work closely together to create a positive work culture that reduces blaming games amongst workers and negative behaviors.

Some ways to shape a cohesive work culture could include keeping everyone up to date with the company’s mission and values, organise social events to foster closer relationships between management and employees and most importantly, leading employees through example and inspiration.

Creating a positive and transparent work culture can make employees feel safe and valued. With these affirmative feelings, employees are likely to stay within the organisation, thereby reducing high turnover rates within the company as well. Whether the company is a start-up or a tech giant, regardless the size of organisation, integrity is no doubt the ultimate employee perk – in which the constant upholding of it within the workplace will undoubtedly benefit both employees and the company in the long run.

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