Workplace integrity refers to the set of ethical and moral principles that guide behaviour in the workplace. It encompasses a variety of behaviours and values, such as honesty, fairness, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and professionalism. Workplace integrity is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment and is a critical component of organisational culture.
High-integrity workers are honest, dependable and trustworthy. In companies with high integrity, everyone supports one another to fulfil the company’s mission by sharing resources, time, advice and constructive feedback.
Several reasons why workplace integrity matters
First, it helps build trust among employees and employers. When employees have faith in one another, they are more likely to collaborate, communicate, and work together effectively. Trust also helps build a sense of community within the workplace, which can benefit employee morale and job satisfaction.
Second, workplace integrity enhances teamwork. When employees are committed to acting with integrity, they are more likely to work together as a team to achieve common goals. This can lead to improved productivity, a better quality of work, and more efficient use of resources.
Third, workplace integrity fosters a sense of mutual respect and accountability. When employees hold themselves and their colleagues accountable to high ethical standards, it creates a culture of respect and professionalism. This, in turn, can help to reduce workplace conflict and improve employee relationships.
Finally, employers prioritising workplace integrity tend to have higher employee morale, lower turnover rates, and good reputations within their respective industries. Employees who work in environments that prioritise integrity are more likely to be content and satisfied with their jobs, which can lead to lower turnover rates. Moreover, employers known for their commitment to integrity are more likely to attract high-quality job candidates, which can be a significant advantage in competitive labour markets
Key elements of workplace integrity are essential for employers and employees to understand.
- Honesty: Honesty is a fundamental aspect of workplace integrity. Employees should always be truthful in their communications with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders. This includes being honest about their capabilities, as well as the capabilities of their colleagues.
- Fairness: Fairness is another critical element of workplace integrity. Employees should treat one another fairly and with respect, regardless of their position within the organisation or their characteristics. This includes providing equal opportunities for professional development and advancement.
- Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness is essential for building trust within the workplace. Employees should be reliable, consistent, and accountable for their actions. This includes being transparent in their communications and following through on their commitments.
- Responsibility: Responsibility involves taking ownership of one’s actions and being accountable for the outcomes. Employees should take responsibility for their mistakes and work to make amends when necessary. They should also take ownership of their work and strive to do their best at all times.
- Professionalism: Professionalism involves maintaining a high level of conduct in the workplace. This includes dressing appropriately, using appropriate language, and behaving in a manner that is consistent with the organisation’s values.
Steps employers can take to promote workplace integrity.
Developing a code of conduct:
Employers can develop a code of conduct that outlines the ethical and moral principles expected of all employees. This can be a valuable tool for promoting workplace integrity and ensuring that all employees know the expectations.
Training and education:
Employers can provide training and education to employees on the importance of workplace integrity and the specific behaviours that are expected. This can include workshops, seminars, and online training programs.
Employers can model the behaviours they expect to see in their employees. This includes being honest, fair, trustworthy, responsible, and professional in their own conduct.
Recognition and rewards:
Employers can recognize and reward employees who demonstrate workplace integrity. This can be done through employee recognition programs, promotions, bonuses, or other forms of positive reinforcement.
Employers can ensure that their expectations for workplace integrity are communicated clearly to all employees. This can be done through regular communication channels, such as company meetings, memos, and newsletters.
Steps employees can take to promote workplace integrity
Following the code of conduct:
Employees should familiarise themselves with the company’s code of conduct and strive to follow its principles in their daily work.
Employees should report any misconduct or unethical behaviour they witness in the workplace. This can help prevent future incidents and protect the organisation’s integrity.
Taking ownership of their work:
Employees should take ownership of their work and strive to do their best at all times. This helps build trust with colleagues and create a positive work environment.
Employees should maintain a high level of professionalism in their conduct, both in person and online. This includes using appropriate language, dressing appropriately, and behaving consistently with the organisation’s values.
Workplace integrity is a critical component of organisational culture. It helps to build trust among employees, enhances teamwork, fosters a sense of mutual respect and accountability, and can improve employee morale and job satisfaction. By prioritising workplace integrity, organisations can create a positive and productive work environment that benefits both employees and the organisation as a whole.
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