We continue our Monday series where I’m providing some snapshots into what makes up organizational integrity.
To have a great organization, integrity must be widespread. It won’t do to be a saintly leader of highest integrity if the rest of the team consists of liars, backbiters, and thieves. Integrity must exist from top to bottom. There are some key qualities that need to be modeled by leadership in order for an organization to embrace integrity.
Last week we unpacked with Learning to Change. This week we’ll explore Trusting Others.
When leaders work to create high-trust cultures within their organizations and to ensure a sense of security, people feel that they can trust one another.
Fostering employee loyalty is a tall order for a CEO. One old-fashioned gesture of trust is giving employees keys to the store. At Edson International in New Bedford, Mass., president Will Keene has given 7 of the 25 workers keys to the family-owned machine shop, which makes steering systems for yachts.
“These people have been with the company at least five years,” says Keene. “They’ve made it known they plan to stay with our company for the long haul. They aren’t out to rip us off.” Newer employees get the message that long-term commitment is rewarded.
And the keys are used. Employees can work on their own projects in the shop on weekends, as long as someone else is present in case of injury. For workers who can’t afford their own shop, it means a lot.
When people do not trust one another, it is difficult for the organization to succeed and for the people within the organization to feel completely fulfilled. People who feel trusted and who find their leaders trustworthy are more satisfied, and their work environment is less stressful. There exists a feeling of openness and confidence and a greater ability for people to believe they can take risks.