Maintain Your Integrity at Work


Having integrity at work is just as important as having it outside of work. It seems easy. You’re a good person, you try to behave ethically, and you generally treat people with respect. The problem is that it’s becoming the norm for people to leave their ethics at the door of the office. In fact, it’s almost accepted as something you should do. The workplace can be cutthroat, maybe it has no place for a person with values. So you change who you are. You compromise.

The problem is that integrity isn’t something that can be compromised.

The problem is that integrity isn’t something that can be compromised. Integrity is something that carries into all parts of your life, so you either have it or you don’t. So how do you maintain your integrity in a place where it seems like everyone else is compromising theirs?

The Golden Rule

It sounds simple enough, you’ve probably heard it your whole life; treat others as you would like to be treated. This principle is practiced in all aspects of life, however, in the world of business, it’s often neglected. There are plenty of reasons why, but the simplest one is because it’s easy. It’s easy to treat people poorly, to let your emotions govern your actions. You might not want to be friends with people at work–maybe you view them as competitors or maybe you just don’t like them–and that makes it a whole lot easier to treat them poorly. Perhaps the hardest part of maintaining your integrity at work is being courteous and respectful to people you don’t like or for whom you have no respect. It’s a simple concept that’s difficult to remember: treat people respectfully, no matter the situation.


Honesty. That’s definitely not something you can depend on in the workplace. Being honest is sometimes viewed as weakness, or it puts you at risk at exposing your mistakes or shortcomings. Honesty is risky. But this generation is all about honesty. We want our corporations to be transparent. We want them to be responsible, and let’s be real; being honest as a corporation can be costly. It takes the control of the situation out of their hands and puts it into the hands of their consumers. They have to trust that their consumers will value their honesty. And it’s the same for you in the workplace. If you make a mistake, be honest about it. Your employer might value that, or they might not. Truthfully, your honesty might cost you your job, but sometimes the cost of maintaining your integrity is high.


Sometimes there are legal reasons to practice confidentiality but, beyond that, it is an important aspect of your integrity at work. Creating a culture of confidentiality in the workplace is not always easy, because it means avoiding and discouraging things like office gossip (which is often a way people feel included or connected in their workplace). The truth is that gossip destroys morale and hurts productivity. Even more, it destroys trust, and people with integrity build trust, they don’t compromise it. Ask yourself, “is what I’m saying compromising someone’s ability to trust me?”

Integrity at Work Makes You a Leader

You might not be the manager, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead. Truthfully, if you really are working to maintain your integrity at work, you will likely be in the minority. Stick to your values, bring others up to your level. Don’t compromise your integrity for anyone. It isn’t an easy thing to keep, and it’s even harder to get back.