Business Integrity: What It Is and How To Show It at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 27, 2022 | Published February 15, 2021

Updated September 27, 2022

Published February 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Business integrity is an ethical framework you can use to guide your professional conduct. You can demonstrate integrity in your professional interactions by treating others with respect and taking responsibility for your own actions. Knowing how to act with business integrity can help you earn the trust of colleagues and supervisors, as well as enhance your reputation.

In this article, we discuss the major guiding principles of business integrity and we outline ways you can show business integrity at work.

What is business integrity?

Business integrity is the act of conducting business practices by following a moral and ethical framework. As with personal integrity, business integrity requires you to act with honesty and consistency and to hold yourself accountable for your actions, even when nobody's watching. Business integrity builds on your personal code of ethics and allows you to exhibit professionalism in the workplace.

Related: A Complete Guide to Integrity in the Workplace

Why is business integrity important?

Regardless of your position, experience level or industry, business integrity can help you conduct yourself appropriately in the workplace. Specifically, exhibiting business integrity in your actions can help you:

  • Build trust: When you act with business integrity, you show others they can trust you to do what's right. This trust can help you build valuable relationships with others, including your coworkers, managers and customers.

  • Strengthen your reputation: Your business integrity can help you act ethically in your tasks and processes. Others may notice your integrity, which can help you strengthen your reputation.

  • Improve your performance: You can show business integrity by striving to complete your duties at a high level. By delivering quality results, you can improve your performance.

  • Increase your job satisfaction: When you're demonstrating business integrity, you can feel confident about the work you're doing and the way you're doing it. This knowledge can help increase your job satisfaction.

Related: 17 Ways To Build a Reputation

Principles of business integrity

Here are some key principles of business integrity you can embody in the workplace:

Trust

Trust is the foundation of strong client and customer relationships because people typically want to work with someone they find truthful. Trust gives meaning to a company's promises and encourages customers to continue their relationship with you and the organization. This principle is also important for your relationship with your manager or employer because it demonstrates they can trust you to uphold the integrity of their department or business.

Related: 15 Trustworthy Traits in the Workplace

Follow-through

Follow-through means performing an action after saying you plan to do it. This principle is an important part of business integrity because it shows your commitment to upholding promises. When you follow through on a commitment, customers believe you can provide them with the products or services you've promised, and they may be more likely to do business with you again in the future.

Quality

This principle of business integrity involves delivering high-quality products and services to customers. This consistency shows customers you value their business and helps them feel confident about working with you. As an employee, you can demonstrate the same level of quality your company delivers by performing your individual tasks at a high level with attention to detail.

Corporate citizenship

Corporate citizenship refers to actions companies take to make a positive impact on their communities, such as philanthropy or volunteerism. As an employee, you can show business integrity by becoming involved in the company's outreach efforts. For example, you may take part in a company-wide day of service or propose ideas to your supervisor about ways the company can help the community.

Related: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Types and Benefits (With Examples)

Willingness to change

Professionals with business integrity acknowledge they can continue to improve by demonstrating a willingness to change. You can show customers this principle by acknowledging the feedback they offer, which can make them feel valued. You can also show a willingness to change by accepting feedback from your manager or coworkers and identifying areas where you can improve your skills.

Respect

Respect is an important part of business integrity because it shows others you value and appreciate their contributions. You can act with business integrity by showing respect for everyone, including customers and employees of all levels. Showing respect can help you maintain positive and professional relationships with team members and customers.

Related: How To Treat Others With Respect in the Workplace

Accountability

Professionals with business integrity hold themselves accountable for their actions, even when they make mistakes. No one likes to make mistakes, but customers appreciate it when you take accountability and work to resolve issues to find a positive solution. You can also show accountability for your work by addressing issues or challenges and finding ways to overcome them successfully.

Related: Accountability in the Workplace: Importance and Tips for Improving It

How to act with business integrity

Follow these steps to help you exhibit business integrity in your work:

1. Write a personal mission statement

Similar to a company's mission statement, a personal mission statement describes how you want to conduct yourself at work. Review various companies' mission statements to help you brainstorm ideas for your personal statement. In a few sentences, describe your top values and explain how you plan to use them to achieve your goals. Clearly defining your moral principles can help you make better decisions and understand what's most important in your life, which can make it easier to act with business integrity at work.

Read more: How To Write a Personal Mission Statement (40 Examples)

2. Lead by example

A good way to promote integrity in the workplace is by acting with integrity yourself. Implement your moral principles into your daily actions to encourage your coworkers to uphold the same standards. These actions can be as simple as showing respect for your coworkers and customers by greeting them and demonstrating a genuine interest in their well-being.

You can also provide an example for others by admitting your mistakes and taking quick steps to correct them. This behavior shows your employers and coworkers that honesty is important to you and that you learn from your mistakes, which can encourage accountability among other team members.

Related: 8 Ways To Lead by Positive Example in the Workplace

3. Practice open communication

You can achieve many of the principles of business integrity by practicing open communication. Communicate openly with your manager, team members and other coworkers to facilitate an environment of honesty and respect. Express yourself in a positive, honest way and encourage others to do the same. When you communicate with customers, be honest during your interactions to make them feel respected. This type of communication can increase trust and accountability.

Related: What Is Open Communication? (With Benefits and Importance)

4. Consider the customer a friend

During interactions with customers, treat them the same way you would a friend. Speak warmly with customers and show respect for their time and feedback. When possible, take steps to make their experiences better. Thinking of your customers as friends can encourage you to create value for them and provide them with high-quality products and services. This can help them feel satisfied with their experience, which increases the chances of them continuing to do business with you.

Related: Customer Relations: 13 Ways To Build Better Connections

5. Make it personal

Consider your core values when you're at work. For instance, rather than thinking of corporate citizenship as an additional commitment, you can identify meaningful ways to contribute that make you excited about helping the community. You can also work with your manager to create a new initiative within your business, such as setting up a recycling program within your office. If you're passionate about the cause, you may be more likely to engage in corporate citizenship and act with integrity.

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