Tools for Trust: 10 Strategies to Promote Integrity in the Workplace

CoachHub · 4 August 2023 · 7 min read

Integrity affects relationships in the workplace more than we realise. It affects those outside the workplace as well. Being honest and reliable to coworkers and clients builds a good reputation that encourages others to work with you. Having good integrity means that workers are dedicated to their responsibilities and they take their commitments seriously. In the grand scheme of things, having good integrity sometimes does more for your company than the services you have to offer.

Building a culture of integrity in any environment takes time and careful commitment but it can always be done. Through digital coaching, HR managers and executives can foster healthier workplace attitudes among employees.

In this article, we discuss different strategies for promoting integrity in the workplace as well as how to implement them.

Understanding Workplace Integrity

Workplace integrity is the quality of being honest and ethical in all dealings in the workplace. An employee with integrity has a strong moral compass and does the right thing even when no one is watching.

For example, informing a client when they have made an accounting error or completing payments without trying to cheat clients. In the workplace, it can also occur when employees take responsibility for a mistake they made without trying to blame it on someone else.

Workplace integrity is essential because it shows the strength of a person’s character. It demonstrates a person’s ability to step up in a difficult situation.

It also contributes to reducing costs for a company. The more integrity employees have, the more illegal activities can be avoided within the organisation.

A poor culture of integrity is detrimental because it breeds distrust in workplace relationships. It also increases company costs as more resources will go into ensuring that rules and regulations are adhered to.

A lack of integrity will make it harder for teams to complete tasks and accomplish goals. This affects the productivity of the company.

One of the key things that promotes a healthy culture of integrity in the workplace is functional leadership. People often look to their leaders for guidance on how to act by unconsciously internalising their traits. A workplace with trustworthy leaders who demonstrate how much they value integrity is a lot more likely to have a good culture of integrity than one without.

Integrity in the workplace

Examples of Integrity in the Workplace

Integrity manifests in different ways in the workplace. There are different traits that point to the measure of a person’s integrity in the workplace. Some of them include:

  • Honesty in communications with colleagues and clients
  • Accountability for actions and decisions
  • Respect for colleagues and clients
  • Fairness in the treatment of all employees
  • Transparency in decision-making and reporting
  • Compliance with legal and ethical standards
  • Confidentiality in handling sensitive information

On their own, each of these qualities are an important trait for any worker to have in the workplace. They help to foster workplace relationships as people feel more comfortable going into business with companies that have integrity.

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10 Ways to Foster Integrity in the Workplace

Contrary to popular belief, it is not difficult to promote integrity among workers. Through conscientious efforts and proper guidance, the workplace culture can be improved to create a healthy environment for growth.

1. Lead by example:

This means that you need to set the pace for your workers. If you hope to increase integrity among your workers, it is necessary to exhibit those traits yourself. Accountability, transparency and honesty in leaders are traits that increase integrity among other workers. People tend to unconsciously emulate qualities demonstrated by their leaders. When workers are aware that leaders take these traits seriously, they are more likely to model them in their personal lives and workplace interactions.

2. Define and communicate expectations:

It is hard to incorporate new practices in the workplace when workers are unaware of the expectations. You need to clearly communicate and articulate what integrity looks like in your workplace, this includes guidance and information on how employees are expected to act in different circumstances. Talk about ethical dilemmas and how they should be approached. This reduces confusion and ensures that employees are more aware of how to act when faced with difficult choices. It is easier to introduce a new workplace culture when the employees understand what is expected.

3. Develop ethical decision-making skills:

Promote training programs that assist employees in developing problem solving skills. This means that you need to invest and devote resources towards initiatives that can help employees when faced with difficult problems. It’s likely that employees will be faced with ethical challenges at different points in their career. Investing in programs that increase their critical thinking skills is important to equip them with the ability to make the right choice in situations of ethical dilemmas.

4. Create a speak-up culture:

Encourage employees to speak up about any concerns they have and create channels for anonymous reporting to foster transparency in the workplace. Employees need to know that there is a system for them to express themselves. A work environment where employees are left to their devices without any form of communication does very little to foster integrity. The knowledge that you will be heard when you speak up increases the likelihood of developing a positive workplace culture among employees. Create avenues for employees to communicate without fear.

5. Implement effective checks and balances:

Develop systems and processes that can help identify and prevent unethical behaviour, such as regular audits, risk assessments, and ethical compliance training. Employees need to know that rules and regulations are administered fairly and all workers are subject to the same laws within the organisation. This is another area where efficient leadership comes in. A workplace where leaders can be held accountable encourages workers to develop traits that contribute to integrity.

6. Foster a supportive work environment:

Create a culture of respect, collaboration, and inclusion that values diversity and supports employees in making ethical decisions. It is easier to have a good culture of integrity when you have a good support system within the workplace. It is important that workers are encouraged to ask questions about ethical dilemmas and that these questions are answered honestly and openly. This makes it easier to address challenges and come clean during difficult situations.

7. Use digital coaching to support integrity efforts:

Digital coaching can provide personalised guidance, support, and feedback to help employees develop the skills they need to make ethical decisions in the workplace. Through digital coaching, people can get guidance that is tailored to their individual qualities. They also have a more personalised experience to develop the qualities that will help boost their integrity in the workplace. Both executives and workers can benefit from an efficient digital coaching experience.

8. Embrace technology to promote transparency and accountability:

Use tools such as online dashboards, tracking systems, and automated reporting to improve transparency and accountability in the workplace, and to identify potential areas of risk. The professional environment is getting even more diverse with the introduction of new and improved technological advancements. This makes it easier for workers to track their progress as well as the progress of others around them and see how they measure up. This also creates healthy competition among workers as everyone strives to become better.

9. Build a culture of continuous improvement in the workplace:

Foster a mindset of ongoing learning and development to ensure that employees at all levels of the organisation have the skills and knowledge they need to promote workplace integrity. If the mindset of employees is one of constant growth and improvement, they will be encouraged to adopt traits that increase their integrity in the workplace. A workplace culture that encourages personal growth and development in the workplace is excellent ground for integrity and healthier workplace relations.

10. Measure and reward integrity:

Use metrics to track progress, recognise and reward employees who demonstrate integrity, and hold leaders accountable for promoting a culture of ethical behaviour. One of the best ways of promoting growth in the workplace is by rewarding favourable behaviours. Human beings are generally more motivated when there is a prize. By measuring and rewarding honourable traits among employees, you encourage others to adopt those traits as well. The goal is to get everyone on board.

Digital Coaching and Ethical Leadership

Ethical leadership is the best way to ensure that traits crucial to integrity in the workplace are adopted by all workers. When workers can see leaders practising the traits they preach, they will be more encouraged to adopt them.

Digital coaching is one of the best ways of developing ethical leaders in the workplace. The personalised nature of digital coaching ensures that leaders can go through training programs created to address their needs.

A good example of a company where integrity has been improved through digital coaching is in the work at BNP Paribas. They have been able to save costs by adopting digital coaching that caters to their diverse workforce.

Conclusion

Integrity in the workplace isn’t based on a single action or trait. It is the sum total of different characteristics and attributes which point to the presence of an admirable moral compass and strength of character in an individual.

Building healthy relationships is one of the key pillars of success in the professional world and integrity is one of the best ways of cementing these relationships.

Digital coaching is essential in promoting workplace integrity as it can be modified to suit the appearance and brand of the company where it is applied.

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Samuel Olawole
Samuel Olawole is a freelance copywriter and content writer who specialises in creating exciting content across a wide range of topics and industries. When he’s not writing, you can find him travelling or listening to good music.

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