Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. When it comes to successful business dealings, integrity is a highly sought-after, but increasingly rare commodity.
Personal Integrity involves an internal commitment to avoiding what are seen as vices in society: lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, etc. A person with integrity does not avoid vices only when it is convenient, or when they are worried they will be caught. Someone with integrity avoids a particular vice (or all them at every time as a matter of personal pride and honor.
- Do what they say they will do
- Give constructive feedback often
- Deal truthfully with clients and coworkers
It is the search for employees with integrity, that has given rise to the endless line of businesses that offer pre-employment assessments such as the Kolbe Corp., and Wonderlic. These assessments are often scientifically generated by doctors and psychologists to test a candidate’s responses in a way that reveals even when a candidate is trying to manipulate their answers and not respond truthfully to the questions.
Forbes agrees: integrity starts at the top of a business. From top to bottom, if business owners and stakeholders can build a team full of individuals with business integrity, outcomes for profitability, lower turnover, a stable work environment, and other savings are much more likely to be realized.
It is possible for a person to possess great integrity, however, and not be a particularly good team player. The next article in A2Q2’s Core Values in Business series will focus on the importance of teamwork.