We celebrated Memorial Day this week, and it caused me to reflect on, and be thankful for, those among us who are so committed to what they value that they are willing to risk their lives in defense of the rest of us.
In the business world, there’s a core value that more than any other, compels individuals to deeply commit on a personal level. Whether your values include exceptional customer service, initiative, quality, innovation or supporting your employees, integrity is the one principle whose thread can be seen in every other. There are 3 reasons why integrity produces profit.
How can a business provide exceptional service without integrity? Isn’t integrity the core component of quality? Can you retain the best people without openness and honesty?
But there are moments in business when you need the order, or must make a choice that will hurt some of your personnel. And it’s in those moments, when the temptation is strongest to stretch the truth, make a promise without a commitment, or propose a solution that serves self more than the customer or employee.
These are the moments when credibility is at stake. Will the talk be walked? Will integrity be served?
Here are 3 reasons to preserve integrity and why operating with it as a core value produces profit:
- Integrity generates greater drive and effectiveness. When employees know that integrity is expected, they act more urgently, decisively and confidently. When there is any doubt about the right course of action, they are guided by this value and rely of it to decide more quickly.
- Integrity attracts high-caliber people. People with personal integrity prefer to work with those who share their values. They respect relationships and want to work with associates they can trust. In an economy, where commoditization is ubiquitous and technological advantage does not long endure, your employees are your most sustainable competitive advantage.
- Integrity equals reliability to customers. Keeping promises; taking responsibility when problems arise and acting decisively to resolve them, sharing knowledge and ideas. Consistently behaving as a reliable partner for customers builds enduring relationships and long-lasting ROI. Reliable performance reduces customer risk and enables value-based pricing that benefits both parties.
Don’t take the value of integrity for granted. Specify behaviors that define your expectations of integrity so that a common understanding is established across the organization.
What behaviors define your expectations of integrity?
How can you ensure that the entire organization demonstrates integrity?