We’re moving on to the latter half of our editorial series covering the things we should not mistake the workplace for. Glad to see you here again!
We’re not going to keep this edition on the down low. If anything, it should be one of the things we’re most transparent about when at the workplace.
- IT’S NOT A PLACE TO CONDUCT UNDER-THE-TABLE BUSINESS.
Integrity is a big concept centered on trust and transparency. It is a fundamental value of the professional world, present in all business relationships.
Companies trust that candidates can be counted on to turn up for their interview appointments, follow through with their applications and properly communicate their acceptance of or withdrawal from an opportunity. Employers trust that their people can be counted on to perform to the best of their abilities. In return, career-seekers and employees trust that companies will treat them according to their value as professionals and prioritize their welfare as the lifeblood that propels organizations forward.
This value is present in employer-employee, candidate-potential employer, and company-client relationships. Yet it is violated when people choose to secretly execute directives or conduct business without consideration of the implications for the parties involved.
It happens when hiring managers or management-level interviewers show greater preference for or give unfair advantages to certain candidates for reasons that are irrelevant to the qualifications of a given position. It also happens when company representatives conduct transactions that bypass corporate and legal protocol, often for personal gain.
When values are thrown out the window for selfish reasons, integrity suffers. Its reputation can also suffer as a result, because not all illegitimate or unethical workplace practices can be fully hidden at all times. It’s only a matter of time before any wrongdoing is exposed, partially or fully, and begins to negatively affect an organization’s image.
Only constant employee engagement focused on building a culture of integrity can remedy this for the long term. It is something that requires both the leadership and the employees to work together and set standards for the collective good of the company.
On the other side of the coin, it falls on victims of unethical and illegitimate business practices to provide comprehensive feedback on such incidents. Proper complaints filed with the management can help with policy enforcement and interventions.
In the pursuit of integrity, it is worth remembering that honest and conscious effort can always overcome dishonest practices.