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7 Strategies to Boost Integrity within Your Team

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

If you want to create a work environment whereby staff are positive, engaged, ethical, and supportive, then think about integrity.

Integrity is the adherence to moral and ethical principles & values. It's the soundness of moral character. It's honesty. As a leader, exercising a high degree of integrity is one of the biggest factors for success in managing your team.

Why is integrity important?

A high level of integrity involves open communication which fosters a supportive work environment and builds resiliency, which then leads to the smooth operation of an organization. You will see that coworkers trust each other, and your staff will trust you.

As an employee, you represent the organization, so be cautious about how you talk about your employer and manager. Airing your dirty laundry publicly is not a way to demonstrate integrity.

Integrity also promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity because it acknowledges differences, reinforces importance for respect to everyone, and allows for better collaboration. It's based on a person's values rather than their gain.

Integrity is vital for anyone looking to become a leader or improve their experience as a leader because it helps create a positive work environment. Anytime you have a decision to make - wake up your moral and ethical compass.

A lack of integrity can equal sloppy work, a lack of commitment and motivation, losing interest in work, and gossip/poor communication.


How to Demonstrate Integrity

A person with integrity does the right thing, even behind closed doors. Think about it from this perspective - if you're given the opportunity to take credit for someone else's work, or you've been given too much change at the grocery store, but you don't act on it and instead decide to be honest, then you have integrity. Throughout our day, we have hundreds of opportunities to make decisions, and having integrity means those decisions are honest and made with strong moral principles.

Think about how you interact with others:

  • Are you open the helping people, while also preserving your own boundaries and wellbeing?

  • Are you willing to admit when you make a mistake, lose a game, or are wrong?

  • Do you show up when you say you're going to show up?

  • Are you receptive to feedback & open to giving honest constructive feedback?

  • Do you roll with it when plans change and unexpected things come up?

On the flip side, you can ask the same questions while assessing whether your staff demonstrates integrity in their work. It's important to know who we can rely on.


How to Improve Integrity in Staff

One of the best ways to increase integrity within your staff is to lead by example. As a leader, you can also create a safe environment. Use these 7 strategies to boost integrity on your team:

1. Create a safe environment.

Allow staff to be honest if they forget something or make a mistake. Read more about psychological safety here. It's okay to not know something or admit when you're wrong. There's the quote by Robin Sharma: "There are no mistakes in life, just lessons." Creating a safe environment also involves encouraging staff to voice and respect each other's boundaries.

2. Be clear about expectations.

Be sure that staff know about yours and the organization's policies, procedures, and ethical standards. Staff will know what is the right thing to do if they are clear about expectations. This is especially clear for public-facing staff and those who interact with individuals & stakeholders outside of the organization.

3. Allow staff to negotiate their time and say no if they need to.

If you're too rigid on time and lack compassion & understanding towards staff, the likelihood of them prioritizing integrity decreases. Sure, some staff have poor time management skills, but as a general rule, allowing staff to self manage their work load facilitates trust and commitment to yourself as a leader and the organization. Staff generally value this type of flexibility.

4. Have open communication and address conflict.

If you are not addressing toxic behaviours and people, then staff won't be motivated to either. This will increase the likelihood of gossip and a toxic work culture. Why treat others with respect when those that are only out for themselves are not addressed?

5. Lead by example.

Admit when you make a mistake, show up for work on time, maintain a positive attitude, and do not waver on your ethical standards. If you follow high standards then others will follow. Leading by example also includes how you treat your employer (not taking frequent personal calls or bad-mouthing a new department policy are a few examples), and those in lower level positions (giving every single person respect no matter what and staying humble are more examples.)

6. Call people out when they don't keep their word.

A big part of integrity is doing something when you say you're going to do it. As a leader, if you are noticing a dip in reliability within your staff, it should be addressed. Encourage team members to keep those lines of communication open, and explain the impact of their behaviour. This relates to being clear on expectations and earning respect.

7. Respect other's opinions even if you disagree.

Though always make sure it remains respectful. Encouraging collaboration over competition is one way to improve this aspect of team dynamics. When it's the norm to work together and share ideas, staff are more likely to be supportive, respectful, and encouraging of each other. We will all have ideas, opinions, and beliefs that others don't agree with and that's okay. Truthfully, it would be pretty boring if we all thought the same. So when differences come up be respectful, considerate, and when your idea is used, be humble.


Hi, I'm Samantha, an Inclusive Leadership Coach that is eager to support you with breaking free & living a limitless authentic life after being pushed aside in society. Think of it as solution focused Coaching with a social justice twist. Whatever you want to work on, leadership or otherwise, you'll transform your life and experience shifts you never thought possible.

As a leadership junkie, I want to see an increase the number of equity deserving folks - women, BIPOC, disabled and LGBTQ+ folks - in leadership roles. I want to create the most diverse and equitable workforce where everyone can bring their full selves to work.

Book a no obligation discovery call here. Keep in touch here.

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