Office employees stacking their hands together


If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. —Harvey Mackay

Imagine a railroad track. Let’s let one rail represent your values and the other your actions. They are held in line with each other by ties, which represent integrity. If a tie breaks, it allows the rails to diverge, and the result is a derailment.

Train derailment leads to property damage and possible loss of life. In addition, if your integrity is compromised, a derailment can damage you and your company’s reputation and lead to broken relationships—at work, in your community, and at home. So let’s look at ways to maintain your integrity on and off the job.

Honor Your Company’s Core Values

Use your company’s mission statement and core values to guide your decisions and give focus to your schedule. For example, if quality customer service is one pillar of your organization’s mission statement, prioritize the personal touch. Go the extra mile for your clients. If innovation makes your company tick, prioritize opportunities to learn new things and share ideas for improvement. Staying true to the mission is one way to keep the train on the tracks.

Be Honest

Honesty about your level of knowledge, your skills, and your mistakes is essential on the job. Ask questions if you’re unsure how to do something, and don’t pretend to be an expert if your skills don’t support that claim. And if you make a mistake, own it. Then, do what you have to do to make it right. It may hurt in the short term, but you will reap the reward of being known as someone who is the real deal.

Off the job, honesty includes being open about your limitations, your level of commitment, and your opinions. For example, let’s say you’re on the Fall Festival committee for your neighborhood, but you can’t attend the event. Be upfront about that right away to avoid stress, prevent hard feelings and help others plan appropriately.

Be diplomatic but honest about your opinions. Then people will know where you stand and how to relate to you.

Keep your word

Upon hiring, an employer and employee are essentially committing to each other. The employer offers a specific wage and benefit package and often lays out the map to raises and promotions. The employee agrees to work a designated number of hours and complete a particular set of tasks.

Keeping your word means honoring these commitments. Show up on time—consistently. Stay off social media (unless that’s your job). Honor the time limits for breaks. Do your best work.

If you’re the boss, pay the wage you promised and raise wages according to policy. Reward excellence. Remember that the integrity of the employee/employer relationship is vital to company success and job satisfaction.

Your family needs to know they can depend on you to keep your word as well. For example, if you promise to take your child to the ball game, make it a priority. Keep your word with consequences, too. They may not admit it, but your kids will appreciate that you care enough to follow through. Your integrity gives your family a sense of security and stability.

Be Flexible

Flexibility is not a reference to situational ethics. Instead, it refers to a willingness to change direction when you see that an outcome is not consistent with your company’s core values. In your personal life, it means being willing to question tradition if it no longer represents your family and community values.

Be a catalyst for change that brings actions back in line with values. Keep that train on the track.

Start Building a Team with Integrity

Are you Looking to build a team with integrity? Career Concepts offers exceptional screening, a large talent pool, and a selective process that delivers in-demand people. Streamline your search for the right people or the right job. Contact us today.

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