Building an honest workforce
Now, maybe more than ever, it’s essential that employers can trust their staff. Unsurprisingly, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of us working from home has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. With up to 50% of the UK workforce now working remotely there’s a real need for workplace cultures to be built upon trust. In addition, a recent survey by the Institute for Business Ethics found that 47% of people believe it’s acceptable to use the internet for personal use during work hours. Motivating and equipping your workforce is the beginning of great work but knowing you can trust them to meet deadlines is a matter of building strong relationships and choosing your staff well.
When it boils down to it, honesty in the workplace often looks simply like integrity. Allowing employees to see their leadership acting with integrity is the first step towards a culture built on trust.
As professor, author and researcher Dr. Brené Brown puts it, “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.”
Practicing integrity and encouraging a culture built upon it is about acting rather than simply speaking. Your staff may be aware of the values your company upholds, but without seeing them in action there’s no invitation for them to embody them within their work. Seeing integrity in action will encourage your employees to spend their own time, energy and skills wisely when they’re out of sight.
Accountability goes hand in hand with honesty. If your staff feel you are taking responsibility for your own successes and failures, then they are far more likely to remain accountable for their own. Whether it’s being transparent about your plans for the future, explaining the reasons for your deadlines or giving staff the opportunity to feedback on projects, it’s about creating a sense of ownership which resonates with each member of the team.
So, perhaps the old saying really is true and ‘honesty is the best policy’.