Integrity at the leadership level and throughout the firm also contributes to employee retention rates, another important factor for a successful business. Integrity is when a person follows a strict moral code that is unshakeable or unbreakable and is shown in everything they do, say or think. That’s why solely relying on compliance functions, policies, rules, and audits — the integrity police — is usually inadequate. Business integrity is the same thing; however, it is a business that is doing it. What’s considered a legitimate expense on a business trip? Oxford Dictionaries defines integrity as: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” It’s important to note that these moral … It is one of the basic essentials for business in general – no one wants to involve themselves with a business that cheats and deceits its customers, and employees have no desire to work for CEOs that are insincere and fraudulent. These mechanisms guard against gross and clearly illegal violations of integrity standards, but they do not deal with the integrity choices that we face every day. Integrity starts with at the top and works its way down, and it will show in everything a business does. The single most important quality you can ever develop that will enhance every part of your life, is the value of integrity. We are taken aback when we get a human on the other end of a customer service line. His previous books include The Boundaryless Organization, The GE Work-Out, and Simply Effective. What Is Integrity in Business? After all, integrity should be the basic building block for doing business: Nobody wants to get involved with a company that lies, cheats, and tricks its customers; nor do people want to work for a company (or a manager) that is dishonest and disingenuous with employees. Browse through the mission, vision, or value statements that corporations post on their websites, and you’ll notice that almost every company includes a statement about integrity. One where there is open communication, good decision making and a … This is further exacerbated by differences in culture — for example in some business cultures people are expected to openly do favors for each other, while in other cultures those favors would be considered bribes. But have you ever wondered why they are needed in the first place? Of course, those who are truly pursuing integrity will see this as a fringe benefit and not actual motivation to become this way. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions. Businesses that have integrity do not put profits … As a business owner, you may feel the temptation to enforce your personal values across the company and imprint your moral standards on employees. And if you Google the following examples, you’ll find that many companies use these stock phrases: Morally upright statements, right? Integrity is defined as, “Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” In research on leadership, integrity is consistently rated as one of the most important character traits of a respected leader. Related: The Importance Of Honesty And Integrity In Business . Primarily, integrity in the workplace is so important as these traits foster a positive workplace culture. March 2, 2017 By Fire Power Team. As a result, no matter what choice we make, we can convince ourselves that it was made with integrity. And, when a company stands behind its products, and takes returns years later, we stay loyal … You cannot help but have a good reputation when you are a person of integrity. That is a value that always helps to give you a better reputation. The power of rationalization and the difficulties of definition reveal integrity as a subject that is neither easy nor simple. A person of integrity is a very moral person. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. Many companies and … This is why integrity is important in business. Many companies and organizations fail because they don’t follow the reality principle. All rights reserved. It is perhaps the most important principle of leadership and dependent on integrity because it demands truthfulness and honesty. It is often considered a ‘given’ – the basis upon which all other leadership traits are built. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. In some ways the value statements about integrity are meant to remind us that integrity is not just a corporate responsibility, but a personal one as well. Why Integrity Is Important for Your Business. While your personal integrity informs integrity in business, these are not quite interchangeable things. Ron Ashkenas is a coauthor of the Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook and a Partner Emeritus at Schaffer Consulting. In hindsight, the students justify the choice as “not really cheating,” “no big deal,” or something that “everyone else does.” In other words, they rationalize their situational behavior, and this way they can still consider themselves to be honest. Integrity means telling the truth even if the truth is ugly. Why is it important? If you hold these discussions regularly, you’ll gradually get beyond the rationalizations and develop more common definitions of what is acceptable and what is not — which is the essence of an integrity culture.
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