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Honesty in the Workplace —Communicating Values

Do you consider yourself an honest and ethical person? Well, chances are that if you hold any type of management position, there is a good probability that your employees may see you differently.

A study by the Ethics Resource Center shows that organizations with strong honesty in the workplace values—from top executives to middle managers to workers—experience less misconduct and more frequent reporting of misbehavior on the job. This study indicates that a culture that promotes honesty in the workplace values has a “profound” impact on the kinds of behavior that can/cannot put a business in jeopardy.

According to the study, organizations with stronger cultures find far fewer employees (4 percent) feel pressure to commit misconduct than in weaker cultures (15 percent). The ERC findings indicate that actions by top managers (and the way they are perceived) have a significant impact on outcomes and that co-worker culture—peer pressure—is powerful in promoting honesty in the workplace and in cutting the amount of financial misconduct witnessed by employees.

Yes, honesty in the workplace is a big issue these days. Without question, over the past few years, dishonesty, corruption and lying by government officials and private industry leaders have created employee distrust in the ways our leaders in general promote honesty in the workplace.

Certainly, I have encountered many dishonest and unethical managers who would take advantage of any circumstances, which would benefit them personally.

However, I have also found that the majority truly care and attempt to do the right thing when it comes to promoting honesty in the workplace. As practically every chapter in this book, Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal details, simply being honest and ethical are not enough in today’s world. As both a manager and leader, you must regularly communicate and reinforce your honesty in the workplace values.