Integrity. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot. Employers want it, employees need it, and training companies talk it up, but no one ever actually discusses what it is. In short, integrity is being your word, doing the things that you said or implied that you would do. Whether that’s completing a huge project or helping a friend move house.
This is why integrity is so important to organisations (big and small); they want to know that if they hire someone, the person is going to do exactly what they say they will.
Low or no integrity in the workplace can cause a number of issues, a drop in productivity, bad communication, a decline in teamwork, just to name a few. So, it’s often a good idea to re-assess the position you’re in to make sure you’re keeping your word.
The problem is that when we do the same thing every day, we can lose sight of the overall bigger picture. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee or that your employer doesn’t like you; it’s just an opportunity to take a step back so you can gain perspective and adjust your own integrity.
Step One: Ask yourself “Who am I to my employer?”
Without taking your own personal opinions into account, put yourself in your employer’s shoes and try to understand what they expect from you. From small everyday tasks to large project outcomes, who does your employer expect you to be?
Step Two: Ask yourself “Who am I to my client?”
Using the same process, try to understand what your client expects of you. Is it a certain level of professionalism? A fast turn-around time? Or simply a sympathetic ear? Just as you expect certain things from a plumber, your clients expect certain things from you.
Step Three: Ask yourself “Who am I to myself in this role?”
This one is very important. Ignore any day to day issues that take control of your mind when you’re working and think about when you first started the job. What did you want to be, how did you want to be seen, and what did you want to achieve? What standards have you set yourself? Are you making yourself proud?
Step Four: Are you meeting these expectations?
Look back on all of these things, are you meeting all these expectations? The expectations of your boss, your clients and yourself? If you are – high five! You’re nailing your work! If not, welcome to being a regular person. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about constant improvement and growing as a person. If you’re not meeting certain areas as best you’d like, then look at strategies to improve this and take action.
Being your word and building your integrity is one of the best ways to develop your career. Just taking time to assess where you are now and where you want to be can make all the difference.