5 ways to promote integrity in the workplace

November 23, 2022  •  Reading Time: 7 min.

Whether you are a team leader or a conscientious employee: Most likely, you already demonstrate integrity in the workplace.

But what exactly is workplace integrity? Does it simply imply that you are an honest person who is not afraid of responsibility and can be held accountable for their actions?

In this article,

  • we’ll go into more detail about what integrity means in your professional life,
  • show you useful workplace examples of how you can promote strong integrity,
  • and also what you can do right now to demonstrate even higher workplace integrity!

What is workplace integrity?

Integrity is not a specific skill, but a set of qualities, including honesty and the ability to uphold moral and ethical principles.

A high level of integrity in the workplace means that you are

  • trustworthy and dependable,
  • that you practice and promote open and honest communication,
  • and that you are accountable for your actions.

📝 Note: Integrity also includes work-related decisions, interactions with employees and clients, and serving customers.

Colleagues who display integrity at work

Why is integrity in the workplace important?

Integrity in the workplace creates a positive environment where employees work well together, trust each other, respect one another, and are able to depend on each other.

📝 Note: This fosters motivated and happy employees, who are quite frequently more productive than employees who display a lack of integrity.

Integrity, therefore, is critical to the long-term development and success of any business. Additionally, integrity in the workplace simply benefits everyone, whether it’s creating a transparent and happy workplace or strengthening and building team resilience.

What are the key benefits of strong workplace integrity?

We’ve compiled the most important benefits right here:

1. It fosters strong teams

Integrity promotes strong teams, builds and maintains trust.

Strong and resilient teams are in demand, especially in a fast-paced work environment. When integrity is being fostered, employees are able to have a sense of purpose within their team. This also contributes to their morale, productivity and overall engagement.

2. It cultivates an open and positive work environment

The more integrity is practiced in a company, the better the working environment.

Only when there is a high level of integrity can an open and encouraging work atmosphere be developed. When staff members are aware that their employer upholds important core principles, they feel free to express ideas, engage with one another, and be authentic.

3. It facilitates an ethical approach to decision-making

Integrity in the workplace also emboldens employees to engage in an ethical decision-making process.

Maintaining high moral standards at work encourages team members to always make conscious, honest and thoughtful decisions.

Human resources representative shaking hands with job applicant and representing her workplace with integrity

How can you promote strong integrity in the workplace? – 5 invaluable methods

These are the best ways to promote and foster workplace integrity:

1. Respect and comply with company policies

Company policies serve as a guide in everything from conduct to dress code.

The primary purpose of corporate policies is to ensure the safety of all employees, promote professionalism and increase efficiency. By following these policies and therefore showing integrity, you can make informed decisions based on the company’s values and goals.

2. Assume accountability

Accountability is an extremely important aspect of integrity and describes a person’s willingness to accept responsibility for their actions.

This includes apologizing, communicating well and admitting to one’s own mistakes. The opposite of accountability is blaming others or even outright lying. So own up to your shortcomings and show openness to constructive criticism.

3. Be respectful in situations of conflict

Having integrity means standing up for your ideas and opinions, but it also entails avoiding speaking negatively about someone else.

A person of integrity also does not run away from difficult conversations. If you have a conflict with a colleague or supervisor, address it openly. Regardless of the situation, integrity in this case ultimately means that your moral principles are more important than your personal well-being.

4. Provide a positive example

Whether you are in a leadership position or a new employee, it is important that you set a good example for those around you.

After all, if you demonstrate positive behavior, others are more likely to be encouraged to do the same. This is also important for any career starter to build a strong rapport. It helps to ensure that you are a respected team member and someone people are happy to turn to and rely on.

📝 Note: Leaders should generally aim to show integrity in all facets of their work in order to provide a positive example for people who look up to them and learn from them.

5. Be prepared to work

This way to demonstrate integrity may seem like the most obvious and easy one.

📝 Note: We have, however, put it as the last bullet point for a reason. This particular aspect is actually the most important and essential of all.

Integrity in the workplace (in daily practice) means that you show up on time and are ready to do your job every single day. If you have a conflict or a personal emergency, for example, you should make sure to inform your supervisor immediately, rather than simply being late.

Working as a team with integrity for the overall success of the company

Tips for maintaining integrity at work

Exhibiting integrity not only shows your employer that you are capable of handling your duties, but also contributes to an overall positive company culture.

Integrity in the workplace actually always starts with your personal decision to act on strong moral principles in every situation. We’ve compiled a few more important tips you can follow to maintain integrity at work:

  • Practice open dialogue.

As we’ve already established, integrity comes in many forms, and open communication definitely helps foster it in a positive way.

  • Report incorrect or unethical actions.

Maintaining a high level of work ethics also means reporting unethical behavior, e.g. when company policy is violated, and thus preventing a negative impact from the outset.

  • Be kind and considerate.

This actually applies to daily interactions with the entire team, managers, clients and customers as well. Sincere and respectful people show considerate and friendly conduct whenever possible.

  • Exercise emotional control and forbearance.

There may be people among the staff who don’t have the same integrity and commitment to their work. Don’t get overly emotional about it. Instead, try to lead by example and have frank and calm discussions with them.

  • Act with high integrity from the start.

Have you recently started a new job? Once you join a new team, you represent the company as a whole, and your actions are directly related to the company’s success and reputation. Therefore, you should always strive to act with the highest level of integrity in all business relationships.

Are you currently job hunting or right in the middle of the hiring process? Then you should definitely show that you have integrity in your application, because this is a quality that is highly sought after by hiring managers.

However, this cannot be achieved simply by putting “integrity” into your skills section. This is because integrity is simply not a trait you would include on your resume, and a prospective employer will also never ask you a question such as, “Are you a person of sound moral principles?”. However, most employers want to see that you are.

Therefore, be sure to include specific examples in your CV, as well as in your job interview, that indicate you have high integrity.

📝 Note: Potential employees who have integrity also have other valuable qualities such as self-confidence, truthfulness, and a sense of responsibility.

This makes it easier to find a great example for your application or interview. For example, you can point out that you have always been praised for your high level of responsibility or that you are able to effectively handle conflict situations at work.

Respectful people working together in an office space

Integrity in the workplace – FAQ

How can you demonstrate integrity in the workplace?

Demonstrating integrity means that you always remain honest, respect others’ opinions, uphold moral standards, are open to constructive criticism, and tolerate unexpected obstacles. It also encompasses giving credit to your colleagues when they deliver high quality work, or addressing issues among co-workers.

What are the main characteristics of workplace integrity?

Integrity in the workplace primarily refers to upstanding character traits and work ethic, including strong values such as sound judgment, honesty, reliability, and loyalty.

What is a good example of integrity in the workplace?

This is how you can display integrity: For example, be honest when you forgot to do an urgent task, or review company policies before starting an important project.