You’re not likely to see the phrase ‘candidate must have integrity’ listed under the essential requirements for a job listing, even though you should know that every employer automatically expects you to show integrity in your work. So, if you’re job hunting or just want to look good on your first day, you should familiarize yourself with integrity in the workplace.
In this article, our main aim is to help you understand the meaning of integrity, or doing the right thing in your professional life, and what it means regarding leadership and teamwork. Additionally, we mention multiple examples of integrity for personal use in the workplace and answer why it’s important to execute them regularly.
What is Integrity?
Integrity is the quality or state where people hold themselves to a high moral standard. In turn, they enforce their upstanding ethics regardless of surrounding circumstances.
In simpler words, integrity is to treat others how you would like them to treat you. It’s the idea that you’ll still behave honestly and befittingly even if no one is watching you.
What is Integrity in the Workplace?
High integrity applies itself in the workplace through the business relationships with those team members around you. It means you embody ethical principles and a positive work environment among your colleagues and in front of your employers.
How to Demonstrate Integrity in the Workplace
Below, we explore the importance of honesty and integrity examples in the workplace, how you can make it one of your strengths, and the best ways for business leaders to embody them:
Integrity and honesty go together, and neither can exist without the other. The example of honesty and integrity translates into being open with your colleagues and peers without taking advantage of either. It doesn’t mean passing along unnecessary comments or intentionally lying in the workplace.
Respect comes from intent listening. You can show your care and concern by keeping an open heart and mind, giving the person in front of you the benefit of the doubt.
You should constantly be respectful to your peers, subordinates, or fellow workers. Maintaining a respectable demeanor means you abstain from engaging in rude activities, such as eavesdropping and gossiping.
In short, an excellent example of respect is listening to others and asking thoughtful questions when necessary. Acting with respect sets an example and reduces reckless behavior.
3. Promise Keeping
A person of integrity keeps their promises. When you ask someone to get something done for you, and they promise they’ll have it done, but they don’t, it shows a lack of integrity. This vicious cycle repeats itself several times before you regret asking for their help.
We’ve all been there, so imagine doing the same thing to others? It’s not good for anyone in the workplace to be unreliable, and they’ll soon become a liability rather than an asset.
In other words, your peers won’t think twice before laying off someone who can’t stick to their word. To avoid this, give promises you know you can keep, and when you know you can’t, perhaps make a simple phone call, be honest, and say why.
Building the fundamental value of trust in the workplace will depend on how responsible and reliable you are. You don’t need to become close friends with everyone you work with to gain their trust; there are easier ways to do this.
When earning the respect of a trustworthy person, your actions must speak for you—keeping to your promises, having high ethical standards, and holding yourself accountable when at fault are good places to start.
Since trust can be fragile, the best policy is to continue reinforcing it with a positive attitude and absolute commitment.
If an employer can’t rely on their employee to get the job done, why keep them? An employee who needs someone constantly watching over them to ensure they’re doing what they’ve been tasked with is no good.
That’s why reliability is necessary for having integrity in the workplace. It’s taking the time to listen to others’ requests and promptly respond to them.
Not just that, but being reliable also means that your colleagues, potential employees, and peers can count on you to accommodate their needs whenever convenient for you.
Responsibility is an essential factor in having a job. No matter how simple your tasks seem, you are responsible for them alone.
A lack of responsibility is evident when you mindlessly carry out jobs. Doing so shows how irresponsible you are and breaks the trust you’ve built with your colleagues and peers.
Being responsible goes hand in hand with acting in a reliable and trustworthy manner. It tells your managers that they can entrust you with more responsibility if they ever need to.
Pride typically connotes arrogance or a sense of entitlement. However, pride here suggests your expectations of yourself and your teammates.
Simply put, pride is that feeling you get when you’ve poured your heart into a project and watched it become a significant success. A sensation you only get when you know you’ve gone through considerable efforts to achieve such work.
Having pride in the workplace also entails that you care about the outcomes of your job, and it means you appreciate those who demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment when working with you.
10 Key Examples Showing Integrity in the workplace
A high level of integrity encompasses the seven elements above, and now remains the question: how can you exhibit these pillars where you work?
Below, you’ll find the answer in the ten critical integrity in the workplace examples showing integrity in the workplace:
1. Put in the Hours
There’s an unspoken employee-employer agreement when it comes to working hours. Your peers expect you to adhere to your schedule; an example is not clocking out early when there’s no need to and not slacking off while on the job.
Fulfilling your daily commitment is an example of integrity because you’re also expected not to lie and take days off whenever you feel like it. Additionally, if you’re going to be late or won’t be able to come in, you should be honest and say why.
2. Deal with Conflict Properly
Work environments are never entirely free of conflict; the trick is knowing how to face, manage, and deal with it properly while upholding the seven standards of integrity.
In other words, approach issues honestly, calmly, and respectfully. Figure out the root of the problem first, have open communication, listen to others, give positive criticism when necessary, and resolve the matter accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help minimizing damages too.
3. Report Unethical Behavior
Humans are programmed to value their egos, which is why it’s not easy to tell on someone for behaving in defiance of company policies, mainly because we fear rejection or are too self-centered to be bothered by what others do.
Either way, this act defines what integrity is about, meaning you must report any corruption or a routinely dishonest employee to your higher-ups. Look at the bright side; your peers will recognize and reward your honest decorum.
4. Be Upfront About Your Shortcomings
The concept of integrity encourages us not to feel ashamed of what we don’t know or can’t do. Instead, it tells us to be upfront about our shortcomings, to own them rather than avoid them.
In the workplace, say something if you don’t understand how to do a delegated task. This way, you’re humanizing yourself and, in turn, most likely getting someone to help you.
5. Be Willing to Do Hard Work
Another integrity in the workplace example is when you are on company time; you aren’t standing on the sidelines and ordering others to get the work done for you. Even those in powerful positions should know you lose your subordinate’s respect if you’re never willing to do some work yourself.
A team leader with a bold attitude, strong work ethic, and who constantly shows initiative will thrive in any business. So, go into work with the willingness to buckle down and do whatever’s necessary to finish the job.
6. Take Accountability for Your Actions
We’ve established that a big part of having integrity is ridding yourself of your ego’s sense of shame. There’s no harm in saying sorry, with good communication skills and taking accountability for your actions when needed.
It’s dishonest to cover up your mistakes instead of admitting them, and it’s even worse to blame others or lie about it since it can severely damage your work relations. Rather, own up to your errors and show openness to constructive criticism.
7. Be a Team Player
Successful companies don’t owe their accomplishments to one individual; they thrive because of the collective efforts of the entity and how it works as a team.
As part of a bigger team, whether in a senior position or not, you’re counted on to fully cooperate with your colleagues for the betterment of the business. Working towards one’s selfish gains isn’t up to integrity standards. As a conscientious employee, you should know how to work with and listen to others.
8. Respect Others
Not all of us see the need to build friendships with everyone at work. Lack of meaningful relationships with coworkers makes us forget they’re humans too.
It would be best to show your sympathetic side to your colleagues by respecting them regardless of how well you know them and how close you work with them. Showing respect can come in many forms, such as listening to what they have to say and not belittling their opinions. It also means not talking behind their backs and showing them compassion.
9. Don’t Abuse Your Power
A person in power can find it easy to fire or ridicule a subordinate. However, a person with integrity understands that abusing their power contradicts the concept’s primary definition.
The statement ‘with great power comes great responsibility rings true even in the workplace. Putting yourself at the front of your team, standing up for them, and respecting their wishes means exercising your power well. Belittling your subordinates, however, is not.
10. Keep Morale Up
Morale is the most critical yet most delicate part of a company’s spirit, and it’s what brings all employees together and makes them want to remain loyal to the business.
As a result, keeping morale up is the best practice for executing integrity in the workplace. Implementing a system of frequent morale boosters isn’t too bad either. High morale benefits your employees, but it’ll also put you and your company in a favorable position for attacking top talent during the hiring process.
Bonus Example. Adhere to Company Policy
A company’s policies and human resources regulations are there for a reason; to enforce an image of uniformity and compliance. Employees who adhere to their workplace mode of conduct follow the seven pillars of integrity.
You’re also contractually obligated to stick to your company’s policies, so going against them will show your peers that you’re not an honest person. These regulations go down to dress code and office ethics, which should be followed too.
The Advantages of Having Integrity in the Workplace
Fostering the critical trait of workplace integrity rewards any business with a plethora of advantages, including:
- Increase in company production
- Strong inner relationships
- Positive employee experience
- Upholding an honorable company image
- A harmonious work environment
- High employee morale
- Creating multiple career advancement opportunities
- Recognition of hard work
- Personal integrity at work will also reflect positively on your personal life
Lack of Honesty and Integrity in the Workplace Examples
Here are five examples that show a lack of integrity in the workplace:
- You make everything about yourself and don’t consider others.
- You’re self-esteem rises and falls based on the opinion of others.
- You fail to do what you said you were going to do.
- You hide things.
- You make too many compromises.
How do you explain integrity in an interview?
Final Thoughts on Showing Integrity at Work
Understanding what a high level of integrity is and applying the concept’s basic ideas to your work is essential for being an exemplary employee. Companies might not explicitly require it, but that’s only because it’s common sense to hold oneself with high integrity and respect. Make yourself look reliable in front of your peers by sticking to the critical examples of high integrity in the workplace mentioned above.