Integrity is a highly valued quality in employees, even though it may not always be explicitly listed in job postings. Integrity includes honesty, morals, dependability, honor, and ethics, meaning doing what is right, even in difficult situations; those with integrity are always thinking of others. Employees who demonstrate integrity are more likely to be successful in their roles and be trusted by their coworkers and employers.
This honesty leads to a more positive work environment built on trust, teamwork, and compassion. The following are 10 ways to act with integrity in the workplace:
Be Productive During Work Hours
Integrity at work starts with being punctual and committed to your job. While you don’t need to be glued to your desktop screen all day, you should show your boss your dedication by being attentive and working your scheduled hours. Idling around the office chatting with colleagues about personal matters is unprofessional, and it’s not why you were hired in the first place. Instead, focus on doing your job to the best of your ability.
Dave comes to the dealership and notices that some of the other mechanics are wasting time on their phones and talking to their friends instead of working. Even though he would rather be watching movies on his laptop, Dave knows that he needs to focus on the brake job he is doing. He works diligently and gets the car fixed in a timely manner; the customer is happy with the quick turnaround. Thanks to Dave’s hard work, they can get back on the road safely!
He overcame the urge to slack off, which shows his integrity; he puts the needs of others before his own interests. This results in a positive outcome for both the customer and the dealership. Dave is more likely to be promoted because his bosses know they can count on him to do a good job. Dave’s integrity and commitment to his job have benefits not only for himself but also for those he works with.
Don’t Be Afraid To Admit When You’re Wrong
We all make mistakes from time to time. What’s important is how we handle those mistakes and learn from them. Trying to blame someone else may be tempting, but it’s always better to admit to your mistake and take responsibility. Your boss and coworkers will appreciate and respect your honesty, and it will help create a trusting and positive work environment. It’s also essential for fostering teamwork and productivity.
Another example of integrity at work: Helena realizes that some of the items for the upcoming trade show will be delayed in arriving due to her accidentally typing in the wrong delivery date. She knows from previous experience that she could try to put the blame on the shipping company and escape any potential reprimand from her superiors.
However, Helena instead calls the company and manages to work out a delivery time that is only a few hours later than originally planned. She then informs her supervisor of the situation, apologizing and letting them know that she has taken steps to minimize any inconvenience. Helena’s proactive and honest approach ultimately diffuses a potentially tense situation.
Fulfill Your Obligations
When you make a promise at work, it’s important to keep it. Whether you’re promising your employer you’ll be on time or telling your team you’ll have a report done by the week’s end, making promises is not the difficult part. It’s following through on them that really counts.
Manoj is looking forward to getting promoted at his workplace when his employer asks for volunteers to work on a new marketing campaign. However, he soon realizes that the extra workload is proving to be a challenge. He reaches out to more experienced colleagues for help and advice and partners with a designer from another department to complete the project on time. This requires him to make some sacrifices, such as missing out on social plans with friends, but he is determined to see the project through.
This example of integrity and dedication is sure to be remembered by Manoj’s coworkers and boss when it comes time to consider promotions. By completing this project, Manoj has shown himself to be reliable, resourceful, and trustworthy – all qualities that will help him earn a promotion in the future.
Always Give Credit Where it is Due
Samuel Adams was onto something when he said, “give credit where it’s due.” In today’s workplace, it’s important to build each other up and praise each other for a job well done. Not only will this lift everyone’s spirits, but it will also result in higher-quality work overall. So next time you see a colleague going above and beyond, be sure to let them know!
Nina has been working hard to gain the approval of her new employer, Mr. Nguyen. He is very exacting and pays close attention to even the smallest details. So Nina was pleased when he called her into his office to commend her work. But then she realized that he was mostly commending the new streamlined structure for invoices that was designed by her assistant Jane. Nina told Mr. Nguyen that she was happy he approved of the new format and gave credit to Jane for her idea.
Nina could have easily accepted the praise from her employer and left it at that. But by being truthful and giving credit where it was due, she proved that she is a leader of honesty and integrity – this will surely impress her employer and earn her the respect of her staff. Nina’s employees will now be more likely to work harder, knowing that their accomplishments are appreciated.
Adhere to the Rules
Integrity at work means adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by your company. This not only includes avoiding negative behaviors such as poor email etiquette and unprofessional dressing but also obeying any laws and ethical standards. By maintaining a sense of integrity at work, you create a positive and productive environment for yourself and those around you.
Ned calls a patient at home to deliver her latest test results. He refers to the patient’s privacy form, which indicates that she has only permitted a non-specific message to be left, requesting that the doctor call back. When the patient’s husband picks up the call, he requests more information about the purpose of the call. Although he sounds concerned and caring, Ned is unable to provide any additional details due to patient confidentiality; he ends the call politely.
Following company rules may not always make sense, but Ned demonstrates integrity by adhering to them. In this case, the rules take precedence over his own feelings or the feelings of the patient’s husband. Ned puts the patient’s rights first, which shows his employers that they can trust him with confidential information.
Treat People With Respect
Office etiquette is important in maintaining a respectful and professional workplace. This includes being polite, considerate, and professional with everyone you work with, regardless of your personal relationship. Good office etiquette demonstrates integrity and can help create a positive work environment.
Mari’s team has been working on new software for a customer for the past six months. Recently, in a meeting with the management team, the discussion turned heated regarding some issues with the design. One of Mari’s coworkers blamed her for all of the problems; despite the accusation, Mari remained calm and asked him to explain the issues in more detail. She didn’t interrupt; she then encouraged the other team members to put forward their input, and together, they explored the issues with the new software and found a solution.
It’s often easier to be civil with your coworkers when everything is going fine; however, in this case, Mari was presented with an aggressive situation but chose not to respond in kind. Rather, she made an effort to keep the peace and allow everyone a chance to voice their opinion.
Fight for What is Right
Integrity at work may sometimes mean standing up to colleagues or superiors, even if it means going against them. This can involve keeping things peaceful, acting in the boss’ best interests, and maintaining good relationships with others. However, there may be times when doing what is right according to one’s own values and beliefs takes precedence over following orders or going along with the majority. In these situations, integrity means being honest and sticking to one’s convictions, even if it is difficult or unpopular.
Hector enters the break room at his office and overhears some of his colleague friends making derogatory remarks about a female coder at work. He recalls reading an article in “Daily Life” that his girlfriend showed him about speaking up against sexism in the workplace.
To make his point, Hector grabs a mug from the counter and labels it the “Sexist Moron Jar.” He then proceeds to collect $5 from each of his buddies as a form of punishment for their sexist remarks. Although it may be difficult, calling out racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry at work is important.
Depending on the person you’re addressing, it could make things uncomfortable or put your job at risk. But standing up against discrimination is crucial in order to create a respectful and inclusive work environment. When calling out someone for their offensive comments, it’s important to be aware of your audience and choose your words carefully.
An insensitive joke like the one Hector made might be effective in shaming his colleagues without starting an argument. However, this approach would not be wise to take with his employer. A more subtle approach is required when speaking to someone in a position of authority. With an isolated remark, you can reprove the person by saying something like, “I know you didn’t mean what you said in that way, but…”
It’s important to remember that taking the least aggressive route possible is always the best option. However, if you notice recurring patterns of bad behavior, you should report it to a superior or HR. In especially hostile settings, the best thing to do may be to leave the company and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Oftentimes, it takes a mass exodus of employees for a company to realize that they need to change its ways.
Show That You are Adaptable
When you encounter unexpected obstacles, it is important to remain positive and flexible in order to overcome the situation. Demonstrating both your commitment and positivity will show that you are dedicated to getting the job done well, regardless of any difficulties. By remaining adaptable, you will be able to successfully manage any situation that comes your way.
Emma has been working hard on a marketing campaign for an external client with her team. They’ve had lots of meetings and discussions and made revisions along the way. However, just days before they’re supposed to finalize everything, the client changes their mind and wants to opt for a different approach.
This requires Emma and her team to start from scratch, making major changes to the original vision they had for the campaign. Even though they’re feeling frustrated, Emma takes charge and finds a way to salvage most of their work and repurpose it for the new campaign. This act of flexibility leaves a positive impact on both her team and the client, who apologizes for the inconvenience – Emma’s supervisors are also relieved.
Be Kind and Considerate to Others
When you have integrity, you think about and care for other people’s needs – even if they don’t ask you directly. For example, if you see someone struggling with something or in an emergency, offering to help shows that you’re a compassionate person. However, it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t sacrifice your own well-being for others. Ultimately, being able to help others in their time of need is a sign of true integrity.
After finishing his work for the week, Mark is about to leave for the weekend when his coworker Sarah is given an urgent task by their manager. Since Sarah won’t be able to pick up her kid from school, Mark offers to do the task for her so she can leave work on time. He doesn’t have any other plans for the day, so he is happy to help out; this act of kindness shows Mark’s selflessness and willingness to always lend a helping hand.
The next week, Sarah does the same for Mark when he has to leave work early for a family emergency. This creates a mutual understanding and respect between the two coworkers, forming a strong support system in the workplace.
Express Your Gratitude
It’s easy to underestimate or forget how important gratitude is. Showing gratitude is important not only when you’re the one giving help but also when you’re on the receiving end. A simple “thank you” can make a big difference, but expressing your gratitude and acknowledging someone’s contributions in more detail is even more powerful. This will help you build strong relationships with your colleagues and employers.
John and some of his coworkers decide to help out with a major project that is coming up soon; despite not being formally assigned to the project, they take on various tasks and get to work. In the end, the project is completed successfully and on schedule.
You make sure to express your gratitude for their help, both in terms of giving them credit and thanking them individually. It is important to recognize someone’s efforts and dedication, which in this case, helps to solidify team dynamics and create a better work setting overall.
The Bottom Line
When you act with integrity in the workplace, you’re not always taking the easy road. In fact, it can sometimes be quite difficult. However, it’s always personally rewarding in the end. Plus, it helps to create a healthy and positive work environment for everyone involved.
What are the benefits of integrity at work?
There are many benefits to integrity at work; people who maintain their integrity in the workplace are seen as honest, credible, and reliable employees. They are more likely to be promoted and receive raises because they can be trusted to do the right thing! Further, maintaining integrity ensures that employees feel good about themselves and their work; it can lead to a more positive work environment.
How can I develop integrity at work?
One great way to develop integrity at work is by setting an example for others. Be honest in your dealings with coworkers and clients, be reliable, and always do your best. Others will take notice, and you’ll likely find that the quality of your work improves as well.
What are the characteristics of an individual with integrity at work?
Individuals with integrity at work are honest, and they have a high moral compass. They are also dependable and reliable, and they always keep their promises. Lastly, these individuals are fair-minded and consistent in their actions.
Is it ever too late to develop or maintain my integrity at work?
No, it is never too late to develop or maintain your integrity at work. It is important to always act with integrity and stand up for what you believe in, even if it means taking a stand against your boss or company. Maintaining your integrity can be difficult, but it is worth it in the end.
What should I do if confronted with a situation that challenges my integrity at work?
If you are ever confronted with a situation at work that challenges your integrity, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation objectively. Further, it’s important to remember that you are not alone; there are likely other people who have gone through or are currently going through a similar situation.
Can integrity be compartmentalized in different parts of our lives, or is it holistic?
Integrity is holistic; it cannot be compartmentalized into different parts of our lives. When we are true to ourselves in one area of our lives, it reflects in all other areas. We may make mistakes, but as long as we are honest and try to do the right thing, integrity will remain intact.