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Why Bosses and Job Seekers Need Integrity

Signs of a great boss are someone who leads by example, can teach what they practice, carries themselves with a certain amount of integrity, and communicates honestly.

Have you ever been in a situation where your boss knew the industry front and back but wasn’t someone you really trusted? What about on the flip side? Have you ever been involved in the hiring process and didn’t believe something a job seeker claimed?

Integrity in the workplace is nothing new, but it’s highly valued. Having people around you who are honest and guided by a strong moral compass is something both hiring managers and employees desire for numerous reasons outside of the obvious.

So why do bosses, job seekers, and the like need to have integrity?

  1. It Encourages a Positive Work Environment – Having a place to go where open and honest communication is expected, and practiced, creates a positive place to work. There are usually no surprises because communication is transparent, and feedback or ideas is welcome.
  2. It Creates a Sense of Reliability – People who showcase integrity are the ones others lean on and trust. From both a boss and job seeker side of things, if you’re someone who is reliable, you’re someone who direct reports will trust to go to with ideas or concerns. That also makes you the type of person any hiring manager will want to onboard. Knowing people in your workplace are reliable leads to business success.
  3. It Becomes Contagious to Culture – When leaders act with a sense of integrity, it motivates employees to do the same. This leads to decision-making that genuinely focuses on the client or customer paired with the company’s goals. That’s because of the deliberate and thoughtful process that goes into it.
  4. It Builds a Strong Foundation – Integrity is the sibling of credibility. When your workforce or job-seeking process is built on a moral high ground, you are seen as credible by association. Credibility is what influences the right people to stay and the right people to choose to accept a position within a company.
  5. It Establishes Solid Leadership – Leading with integrity starts from the top down. So, when an organization holds its managers to a certain standard of taking the morally high ground, it promotes ethical leadership, creating a snowball effect.

Here’s one example of the importance of integrity as a boss.

The sales team for a company didn’t hit forecast for the month. This was based mainly on one salesperson who lost a client because of a specific mistake. The Sales Manager throws herself under the bus when discussing the missed forecast with the CEO. The Sales Manager took responsibility instead of placing it on her direct report because the salesperson’s performance is the Sales Manager’s responsibility.

Here’s one example of the importance of integrity as a job seeker.

It’s very easy to stretch the truth on a resume or CV to get yourself in the door and in front of the right people. But what happens when you are given the opportunity to get in front of those in charge of hiring? Does the truth-stretching continue? Lying on a resume or during the interview process never leads to success for the company or job seeker. Instead, be honest. If you stretched the truth on your resume or CV, own up to it and explain what you can offer the company. Showcasing integrity when you do something wrong says a lot about you. Anyone in a leadership role would appreciate the transparency.

How has integrity in the workplace changed. and how important is it now? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 7 Steps to Becoming an Inclusive Organization.