Running a business is a lot of hard work. An entrepreneur has to be dedicated, focused, hardworking, and conscientious to run a successful business. Of the many principles a business owner should have and teach, integrity is among the most important. That is why every business owner should know the answer to “what is integrity in business”. Also, they have to know how to practice it in their business.
Many people (especially customers) are now actively interested in how companies run their businesses.
Most people would not patronize a business that lacks ethics, morals, and integrity.
And it is much easier to influence other people to patronize a brand in today’s digital-savvy world.
This is why many businesses are invested in maintaining a good public appearance.
So, it isn’t surprising that business integrity is a vital principle that goes a long in promoting a business in our world today.
Thankfully, this article will shed more light on this topic.
Here, you will learn everything you need to know about integrity in business, including its
- Core principles,
- And how to ensure integrity in your business.
With all that being said, let’s get right into it.
Meaning of Integrity in Business – What is Integrity in Business
Business integrity is when a business carries out its processes morally and ethically.
According to the dictionary, integrity involves honesty and strong moral principles.
So, a company that has integrity would typically behave in an honest and principled manner.
Just like personal integrity, business integrity must be upheld at all times.
A business with integrity would always be consistent with its dealings regardless of the situation whether you’re dealing with your employees, investors, or customers won’t matter.
As a business with integrity, you have to present the same face to all stakeholders in your business.
Integrity is also defined as the “state of being whole and undivided”.
Therefore, you cannot practice integrity with one set of people and then be some other way with another set.
You must always be whole and undivided.
Typically, you cannot input something you do not have as a person into your company.
You have to lead by example.
This is why business integrity heavily relies on your principles and ethics.
When you have integrity as a person, you will exhibit it at all times, and this helps you build a company culture that prioritizes integrity.
Importance of Business Integrity – What is Integrity in Business
Now that you know what business integrity means, you may wonder why it is vital in business.
There are so many reasons to take this as a priority in your business.
Integrity is so important in business because it can help a company achieve the following:
When you have integrity and prioritize it in your business and its processes, people will come to trust you and your business.
People would trust what you say because they know you are honest and keep your word.
They would also be able to trust your business to deliver the best services.
And they’d know that even if things go wrong, you won’t shy away from the responsibilities; your business is always accountable for its actions.
In essence, trust is a very important ingredient for business success.
When you trust your employees, shareholders, and customers, you can always push your business forward.
Improve your Company Reputation
Reputation is a very important thing in the business world today.
Many customers today would first take their time to research a company (especially for high-end products and services) to find out what others have to say about them before they patronize said business.
Also, thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find out about a company’s reputation.
This is why maintaining a good reputation is especially important for business success.
Additionally, running your business with integrity can go a long way in helping you build a good reputation for your business.
People would notice that you carry out all your business processes ethically and morally.
This would give you a good reputation, and people would prefer to do business with you than with others they do not consider reputable.
Improve Employee Satisfaction – What is Integrity in Business
Any good business owner knows how important it is for employees to enjoy their jobs.
If your employees do not like working at your company, they may choose to leave at any time.
This would increase your employee turnover rate, which can cause additional expenses for the company as you would have to spend money hiring and training new employees.
This is why companies do all they can to provide a comfortable work environment and culture that will make their employees happy with their jobs.
And one of the best things about business integrity is that it can aid employee satisfaction.
Employees who have managers and leaders with integrity tend to be more satisfied with their jobs and often have a balanced work-life.
Increase Workplace Productivity
When everyone in the workplace prioritises integrity, they would be very committed to their jobs.
They would strive to do their best to ensure they achieve what they have to do as a member of the workforce.
This would lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.
Better Quality – What is Integrity in Business
Integrity will also help a company always strive for the best.
It will keep them wanting to do better to serve their customers the best way they can.
Also, because the employees are happy working in the company, they would do their best to help the company get the best results.
Employees’ involvement is often important when upholding a company’s values and goals.
So, if your company aims to meet your customers’ needs the best way possible, and the employees are on board with this goal, you will have a higher chance of reaching the goal.
In this way, integrity can help a company create the best quality products or services for its customers.
Helps You Stay Focused
Remember that integrity is consistent.
Your business won’t treat people and situations differently when you practice it.
Regardless of the situation or the people involved, you will always behave morally and ethically.
This will give you a level of focus that someone who often presents different faces to different people lacks.
Business Integrity Principles – What is Integrity in Business
If you want to develop business integrity in your company, you must know its principles.
These principles encompass the entire concept of integrity, and it would be impossible to achieve integrity without practising these principles.
Trust is one of the core principles of integrity; you typically can’t have one without the other.
For anybody to trust another individual or business, it means they have seen that the individual or business is honest and trustworthy.
And trust is not something that happens by chance.
It is often built.
If you start doing business with another entity now, you most likely won’t develop trust for it immediately.
But with time, after you have seen that the company is honest in its dealings and does so consistently, you’d find yourself building your trust in them.
This would make you feel comfortable with doing business with them again.
The same thing goes for how customers relate to your company.
If you show them you are trustworthy, they will be more inclined to patronise your business.
This involves ensuring you always deliver high-quality services or products to your customers consistently.
When customers can always rely on you to deliver high-quality services/products, they will be confident when patronizing your business.
Not only should you provide the best quality for your customers, but you must also do so for your employees.
By providing the best working environment and conditions for your employees, you let them know you value their contribution to your company.
This would, in turn, motivate them to do their best at work.
Follow-Through – What is Integrity in Business
Follow-through is another important principle of integrity because integrity is all about honesty.
So, when you say you will do something, you need to follow through on that promise.
You should be able to uphold your promise at all times.
Following through on your plans and promises will make you seem reliable.
And when customers can rely on a business, they will most likely keep patronising you.
Accountability – What is Integrity in Business
Remember that you should always follow through with your promises and plans.
However, despite how hard you try to do so, sometimes, it may not be possible.
This is where accountability comes in.
Being accountable means being able to take responsibility for one’s actions.
Accountability is also a consistent character trait.
It is easy to claim responsibility when the expected results are obtained.
But it is not so easy to do so when mistakes happen.
But because it is a consistent trait, you must be accountable regardless of whether the result is great.
Sure, the last thing you want is for your business to make mistakes.
But when it does happen, you should be able to own up to those mistakes.
Your customers may be disappointed, but they would appreciate your accountability.
Being accountable does not stop at taking responsibility for one’s actions, though.
It also involves looking for the best means to solve the situation.
Also, you do not have to wait until something goes wrong for you to act accountable.
Part of being accountable is evaluating a work situation that isn’t necessarily bad but can be better and looking for the best ways to improve it.
This is when a company does something of positive impact within their communities.
It is a company’s way of giving back to society.
They can volunteer for a particular project in the community or be philanthropic and initiate a project.
How does this show integrity?
Well, it shows that the company cares about society.
In today’s world, customers are not the only ones interested in a company’s societal impact.
Now, employees want to be sure that the company they work for gives back to society in one way or the other.
Doing this would help you attract customers and even the best talents within your industry.
Having a learning mindset means being open to change.
Many people are so fixed in their ways that they do not accommodate a change.
But this is not something that someone with business integrity would do.
As a business owner, you should embrace change.
You should learn to listen to others and take corrections for improvements where you should.
By considering their feedback, you can show your customers that your company embraces change.
The same goes for your employees and other businesses your business interacts with.
This way, you’d show these people you value and respect them.
This is a very important aspect of integrity in business because it helps you show people involved that you appreciate and value them.
You can show business integrity by respecting everyone, from customers to employees (every level).
This principle will also help you have a great relationship with anyone that interacts with your business.
How to Develop Business Integrity – What is Integrity in Business
Business integrity majorly relies on a person’s characteristics and ethics.
As a business owner, you cannot run a business with integrity if you lack it.
Luckily, integrity, like every other character trait, is something that you can work on and develop with time.
Once you can develop it, promoting it within your company will be easier.
However, developing business integrity is not something that you can achieve in a day.
It is just like developing any habit and typically takes time and determination.
But if you keep at it, you might unconsciously exhibit it.
With that said, here are 4 tips for developing business integrity.
Create your Mission Statement
Just as you have a mission statement for your company, you should also have a personal one for yourself.
This typically details how you intend to carry out your work processes and behave in the workplace.
If you do not already have one, now is a good time to write one.
If you already have it, you may have to review it to reflect your business integrity development goal.
Evaluate your values and core characteristics and determine how to reach your goals with them.
Defining your ethics and moral principles will give you a clear idea of what you consider important.
This helps you with your decision-making and may also make it easier for you to practice business integrity.
Learn to Communicate Openly
You can develop most of the principles in the section above by openly communicating with people.
Integrity and honesty go hand in hand.
And you cannot have honesty without open communication.
So, you should learn how to communicate openly with your customers, business shareholders, and even workforce members.
Open communication with customers will typically build trust, accountability, and respect.
Encourage people you interact with to learn to communicate openly too.
When you communicate openly, everyone you interact with will see that you value and respect them enough, to be honest with them.
Think of Your Customers as your Friends – What is Integrity in Business
One thing that will help you communicate openly with your customers is to consider them your friends.
When interacting with your customers, interact with them as you would with your friend.
Speak in a friendly tone and express your respect and value for them both in your speech and actions.
Do what you can to ensure they have a smooth sailing experience with your company.
When you see your customers as your friends, it will be easier to see their value, and you will be more concerned about providing them with the best services or products.
This would ultimately improve their customer experience and satisfaction.
And next time they need your product or service, they will indeed seek out your business.
Practice Exemplary Leadership
One of the best ways to promote business integrity in your company is always to exhibit integrity.
So, while developing this trait, you also have to start making sure that your workforce is watching and will emulate it.
Make sure that they can see how you implement these core principles in your daily dealings.
A simple action like expressing genuine concern for the general well-being of your employees can help you send this message.
If you make a mistake, do not be shy to admit it and find the best solutions for them openly.
Doing this will make your employees see that you value honesty more than right.
And that they should always be open to learning from their mistakes.
Leading by example in the workplace is very important and would help you achieve many of your organizational goals.
Conclusion on What is Integrity in Business
Business integrity is very important for any business, regardless of the type or size.
It can help a company build a strong and positive reputation.
This article covers everything you need to know about business integrity and its importance in business.
Now, all you have to do is use your gathered knowledge to take your business to the next level.