Increasingly, organizations are looking to hire not just employees having the right skills sets, right leadership potential and right capabilities, but also those who show high levels of integrity and commitment to the organization. Employee integrity has become a key phrase, as every organisation today realizes that no matter what potential an individual brings to the organisation, ultimately it is his conduct, his values and his approach that determines how much of that potential will benefit the organisation!
So.. that brings us to the crucial question: what is integrity? Everyone knows what integrity is; yet, no one can really define it precisely. Does it represent the value system of a person? Or his or her conduct? What about strength of character, is that also part of integrity? Surely, loyalty to the organisation should also be part of the definition of integrity? So many questions! So few answers, really. Let us try to understand what integrity is all about.
Where professional life is concerned, Integrity essentially looks at how committed you are to your work and your organisation. Of course, your ethical code of conduct, or the values you believe in, forms the foundation of your integrity. This ethical code helps form our work ethic, and decides with how much sincerity and honesty we approach our work.
Other aspects that are important in determining an employee’s integrity include:
Having a theoretical code of ethics that one believes in is one thing; however, how much does one abide by it? Self-control looks at precisely this – it is about much responsibility and seriousness you show toward your work, how much ownership you take not just for your work but for your conduct at your workplace. Thus, behaving in ways that are consistent with your values is an important aspect of your integrity.
It is common knowledge that employees can and do engage in counterproductive work behaviours. These include misusing official resources (be it stationery, electronics, vehicle, and most importantly, time!), spreading gossip about co-workers, superiors and the organisation, spoiling the organisation’s image and so forth. A conscientious employee is one who refrains from engaging in such behaviours, and thus shows high integrity.
Finally, a loyal and committed employee is an organisation’s best brand ambassador. Thus, those who have a high sense of belongingness and connect with the organisation are the one who will remain loyal, who will stand by the organisation in good and bad times. Your sense of loyalty, how dependable you are forms an important aspect of your overall integrity.
So … While integrity is not easy to define or to measure, the above form the cornerstones of an individual’s integrity profile. Skills and competencies can be mastered with practice; integrity however, is very much a part of an individual’s internal sense of who he is and how he sees the world around him. Getting some sense of an individual’s integrity may well be worth the effort for every organisation who believes that human resource is invaluable to its functioning.
Psychometrica | Disha