The Importance of Integrity and Respect in the Workplace
Integrity and respect are two of the most important characteristics that any employer can possess, but they’re even more important if you’re an entrepreneur running your own business. If you ask employees to give 100% of their effort and support to your project, it’s only fair that you offer them the same in return. Your team needs to trust you, as it’s unlikely they will be able to perform at their peak without it. But do you also know what actions give off the impression of integrity and respect?
The Real Meaning of Integrity
Many people think of integrity as simply being honest. But integrity is much more than that. To have integrity means to be honest with yourself first and foremost. It means living up to your own standards and beliefs, even when it’s difficult to do so. It also means being respectful of others, even when you don’t agree with them. Finally, integrity is about always doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Be the same in the light as you are in the dark.
Conflicts can arise within the workplace when two or more employees disagree about a subject matter and become disrespectful. Such disagreements happen all the time, but if handled with respect, they will not escalate into disrespectful arguments that cause resentment and low morale. If this does happen, an employer should intervene to stop any inappropriate behavior from occurring. Employees who lack respect for one another should be addressed by management so that they may be guided to behave appropriately around their coworkers as well as show mutual respect for each other’s ideas and opinions. Disrespectful comments should never be tolerated, regardless of whether it is between co-workers or customers. Maintaining professionalism and treating others with dignity goes a long way toward maintaining productivity and lowering expenses related to employee turnover.
Traditional Values vs. Modern Beliefs
There’s been a lot of debate lately about whether traditional values still have a place in our modern world. When it comes to the workplace, we believe that respect and integrity are two values that should never go out of style. Respect is fundamental in all forms of relationships – be they personal or professional. Integrity is what defines you as an individual and helps make your work ethic stronger than ever before. Respecting others for who they are and being true to yourself will set you apart from the competition when applying for jobs, because employers value these qualities so highly when looking for new talent. As mentioned earlier, integrity is what helps define you as an individual; without it, life can feel empty and meaningless at times.
Six Signs of Employee Disrespect in the Workplace
• Not showing up for work. This is the most obvious one because it’s a job requirement. Not showing up due to one excuse after another is unacceptable and needs to be addressed with the employee.
• Not taking responsibility for actions. When people don’t take responsibility, they tend to blame others for everything and assume that their boss will always try to give them a way out. A dismissive attitude toward work leads to distrust, which is the last thing any employer needs on their hands.
• Not using work time efficiently. This is a problem for not just the employee, but for the whole team. It can cause a reduction in productivity. The last thing employers want is for the team to be too busy to get their work done.
• Not taking care of physical health and wellbeing. This can be difficult for people in office settings because it’s easy to get caught up in their routines and forget about self-care. If self-care is not prioritized, it is hard to maintain a positive attitude and be productive at work.
• Employees asking unprofessional questions or making insensitive jokes. Asking someone if they are married, about their sexual preferences, what religion they belong to, or making jokes in poor taste is not only rude but can cause legal problems ahead.
Training Employees to act with Integrity and Respect
If you want a more positive culture, as a leader you must establish integrity and respect. But how? Make sure your employees know what these values mean. Talk about these values during staff meetings, post them on bulletin boards, and print out posters to hang around the office. Encourage employees to speak up if they see someone not following one of these values. The most important part is to make sure that everyone understands their role in enforcing them. You need to be clear on what you are expecting from them and make it known that there will be consequences for those who don’t follow the company’s standards. You also need to show empathy by helping your employees understand why these values are so important.
Lead by Example
As a leader, it’s vital to set an example and be the person you desire your employees to become.
• Be respectful with their time. For example, if someone is on a phone call or on a computer, give them some space so they can focus. Another way is to listen with your full attention when someone speaks. You also need to respect their opinions. You should not interrupt while they are speaking, but rather wait until they are finished before you speak up with your thoughts.
• Be punctual for meetings. If you have a meeting scheduled with an employee, client, or coworker, make sure you arrive on time. Not only is it rude to keep someone waiting, but it also shows that you don’t value their time.
• Show Interest. Maintain eye contact with them when they are speaking. Make sure you listen attentively, taking notes as needed. Avoid using cell phones or laptops during a meeting because these activities will indicate to those around you that their time is not valuable enough for you to give them your full attention.
Keep Dispute Information Confidential
In any workplace, it is important to maintain confidentiality between employees. This means that if there is a dispute between employees, the information should not be shared with others in the workplace unless necessary. This helps to prevent gossip and rumors from spreading, which can only make the situation worse. Additionally, it is important to value each other’s privacy and to avoid speaking badly about one another behind each other’s backs. It’s important to have an open-door policy where staff members are free to come to talk with their manager or HR representative when they have a problem. These are some ways that an organization can set standards for integrity and respect in the workplace.
Do not Personalize
Communicate the importance of not taking things personally at work. Let them know that it doesn’t mean being a doormat, but it does mean that they should try to see things from other people’s perspectives and not let emotions get in the way of doing their job. Emphasize that it’s not personal when they get passed over for a promotion or when they receive negative feedback., Let them know that there may be times when you need to give critical feedback that might make them feel bad. They should understand that negative feedback helps everyone be better at their job.
Stay Positive and Set an Example
A positive attitude is catching. If you walk around with your head held high and a smile on your face, it will encourage others to do the same. Likewise, if you’re constantly complaining and have a negative outlook, that’s what others will emulate. As a leader, it’s important to set the tone for the workplace by staying positive and setting an example for others to follow.
Integrity and respect are two essential values that should be upheld in any workplace. Without these values, it would be difficult to maintain a positive work environment. Furthermore, it helps to build trust throughout the team. As such, it is important that everyone tries to uphold these values to create a productive and positive work environment.
Author Michelle Smith Schmidt