At the most basic level, integrity is doing the right thing solely because it’s the right thing to do.
What do you do when no one else is watching? How do you behave when it matters the most?
Crafting a strong culture of integrity in your business is important, enabling you to build trust with your customers, develop reliable and genuine employees, and chart a course for growth and success. Businesses which are viewed as having high integrity are considered to be honest and morally upright, which is something that resonates with your customers, your community and your employees.
It’s not an easy task, however. It requires time, patience and commitment to doing right by all involved. Here are a few simple steps to keep in mind as you think through what you want the culture of your small business to be.
Formulate a plan
You first have to know where you’re going, so start by implementing policies and procedures that outline your company’s goals. Equip your employees with the necessary training and resources, including specialized employee guides that outline expectations. Continue this growth by providing support to your employees and be aware that this is an ongoing mission which never ends and evolves over time.
Get your employees engaged
Studies have shown that workplaces with a culture of integrity often have higher levels of employee engagement. This is beneficial to a business in several aspects because it leads to lower rates of employee absenteeism, a reduction of accidents and decreases in employee errors. Additionally, a business viewed to have high integrity typically experiences less workplace stress and less voluntary turnover than those perceived to lack it.
Know industry ethical standards
Your state or industry probably has rules and guidelines regarding ethical standards for businesses, and they may also have legal resources which can be helpful for you to use when crafting your own policies. Since the development of a culture of integrity is a fluid event which evolves during the life of a business, be sure to regularly audit your employee manuals and handbooks to verify they are aligned with your company’s goals.
Set the tone
Make sure your business’s leadership sets the proper example for your employees, knowing that it’s equally as important to walk the walk as it is to talk the talk. It’s important that employees know that management is working with them in the pursuit of a culture of integrity. In some companies, depending on size, it can be beneficial to form a team from management which oversees the company’s culture of integrity. The team can direct training and encourage dialogue with employees which can foster growth and to help confront issues which may arise.
At Padgett, we’re proud of the culture of success and trust we’ve cultivated among our offices. We value being trusted advisors to our small business clients, and we’d love to learn more about your business and its goals. Find an office near you to see how we can help your business.