by Tom O'Neil - What does the word integrity mean to you? Why is integrity so vital in the workplace?
Demonstrating integrity in your workplace is a real key to reaching people for Christ in your community.
The Apostle Paul writes in Titus 2:7-8, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Matthew writes in his Gospel that we are to let our Christian witness “shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Having integrity in your workplace means demonstrating a genuine and unwavering commitment to honouring your word. As Matthew writes, let your ‘yes’ be a ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ a ‘no’ (Matthew 5:37). Become a person who is respected in your company because people know that your word is your bond. You are the ‘superglue’ guy who everyone knows can be trusted!
How can you develop and maintain integrity in the workplace?
- Do not steal your employer's time
If your work hours are between 9:00am - 5:00pm do not show up at 9:15am and then clock off early at 4:45pm. Over one year that equates to 120 hours, which in another way of looking at it, is three weeks! This is almost the same amount of time as your annual holiday allowance of four weeks.
- Never be negative about your employer
Nothing shoots down your integrity faster than badmouthing your boss. However, be very careful outside of the workspace as well! Be mindful of what you say about your employer in public places like cafes, rugby games or at your children’s school. People know people, and it won’t take much for your words to get back to those at your company. Disloyal employees are not trusted and are not wanted. If you really have to let off some steam, choose a safe environment with someone you can trust, like a family member or your pastor.
- Maintain confidentiality
No matter what you do for a job, your employer expects you to be tight-lipped about your work. Once you have signed your employment contract, you have agreed to the company's policies and procedures that are related to both privacy and confidentiality. Breaking these rules will result in disciplinary action and may even lead to dismissal.
You can quickly display integrity in the workplace through leading by example. When you lead by example, you set the foundation for appropriate workplace behaviour. This also shows you as a person who can be trusted and someone who an employer will seek out for more responsibility. Employees who maintain their integrity and who give their employer their best are more likely to gain their employer's respect, get larger bonuses and be promoted to higher positions.
As Christians, we are continually in the public eye. We stand for truth and love in a world that stands for nothing and has no hope. Remember when you demonstrate integrity at your place of work, you are showing others a small sliver of what Christ is like, drawing those who are spiritually hungry into new discussions, and ultimately into a new reality.
Tom O’Neil has spoken at PK events and formerly served on the PK Board. Tom is a life coach, career specialist and Managing Director of CV.CO.NZ