Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. When it comes to successful business dealings, integrity is a highly sought-after, but increasingly rare commodity.

Personal Integrity

Personal Integrity involves an internal commitment to avoiding what are seen as vices in society: lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, etc. A person with integrity does not avoid vices only when it is convenient, or when they are worried they will be caught. Someone with integrity avoids a particular vice (or all them at every time as a matter of personal pride and honor.

  1. Do what they say they will do
  2. Give constructive feedback often
  3. Deal truthfully with clients and coworkers

It is the search for employees with integrity, that has given rise to the endless line of businesses that offer pre-employment assessments such as the Kolbe Corp., and Wonderlic.  These assessments are often scientifically generated by doctors and psychologists to test a candidate’s responses in a way that reveals even when a candidate is trying to manipulate their answers and not respond truthfully to the questions.

Forbes agrees: integrity starts at the top of a business.  From top to bottom, if business owners and stakeholders can build a team full of individuals with business integrity, outcomes for profitability, lower turnover, a stable work environment, and other savings are much more likely to be realized.
It is possible for a person to possess great integrity, however, and not be a particularly good team player. The next article in A2Q2’s Core Values in Business series will focus on the importance of teamwork.