“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Stewart Potter
Integrity is all about behavior that is honest and forthright. It plays a significant role in the harmony and efficiency of a workplace.
Ethical behavior should be a core value – the baseline – in every company. It’s an essential factor at every level, but it begins at the top with leadership setting the example. When company leadership is honest and transparent, employees follow suit.
When hiring, it starts at the initial screening, the first interview. Yes, a prospective employee’s productivity and skills are characteristics you want but don’t overlook integrity –a vital component to future success for both the employee and your company.
How does your company stand up against these questions?
- Do your company’s incentives match its policies?
- Do you feel like you change who you are when you’re at work?
- Who gets promoted? The guy you watch football with, or the gal who earned it?
- Do you have a win-at-all-costs mentality?
- Do you cover issues, or take responsibility?
In a world where “it’s all about me” is a prevalent attitude, choosing to be an ethical employee guarantees you’ll stand out, but that’s not the #1 reason for choosing to bring integrity to the workplace. It saves a lot of stress – no more trying to remember the lies you told, it gives a boost to your health, it helps relationships to thrive, and you can go to sleep at night feeling downright good about yourself.
So, what is ethical behavior in the workplace? It’s an attitude, really – like staying a few minutes over to finish a task, rather than trying to slide out early; taking responsibility instead of playing the blame game; doing the right thing when no one is watching.
Here’s a little quiz to test your level of ethics.
Are the following unethical or no big deal?
- Cutting corners – Hey, I’m more productive this way!
- Pocketing office supplies – It’s just a few small items – pennies in the big budget.
- Slacking off when no one is watching – I worked hard yesterday; we all need a break.
- Calling in sick when you’re not – Can I help it that I might be getting something the same day as the opening game?
- Taking credit that belongs to the whole team – At least I did my share, and I need the recognition more than they do.
If you didn’t label them as unethical, let’s just say that maybe it’s time to do some serious self-examination.
At Hamilton Connections, we take things like integrity, honesty, ethical behavior seriously. We demand it of ourselves, expect it from our clients, and screen for it in our candidates. Our long-term objective is the continuous development of our relationships with clients and employees to the benefit of everyone involved. These relationships are based on integrity from all sides. Contact us today.