Integrity can be demonstrated in many forms. As individuals, we may find ourselves questioning, challenging or reassuring our personal integrity in all sorts of situations in our daily lives. Indisputably, our own ethical integrity is essential to live in society and to gain our peers’ trust and respect. However, the question arises on whether integrity is equally important for organisations and whether it is a value that can even apply to them.

It is easy to identify integrity, or the lack of it, in individual human actions. For example, when a person has a strong moral character and acts consistently to their moral principles, they are said to have integrity. But what does it mean to have integrity as a business? Personally, I think that business integrity and business ethics, a set of core values that the operations are driven by, go in parallel. After all, it would be impossible for an organisation to ‘act’ consistently to their moral principles if they did not have such moral principles to abide to in the first place. In this way, a company will find a balance between high moral standards and its traditional aim of financial success by demonstrating integrity.

But what is the purpose of having ‘business integrity’? In the first place, an organisation’s long-term success depends largely on it being truthful, respectful and honest. Other players in the market perceiving an organisation as untrustworthy or anything less than respectful and decent, will not want to engage in any business. Similarly, the same will happen if the organisation merely proclaims to have certain values but does not act accordingly.

In addition, to losing trust, reputation and respect in the market, a business that doesn’t act with integrity might end up having to deal with poor performance and a disengaged workforce. If leadership in an organisation displays a lack of integrity, eventually it will become more and more difficult for employees to feel positively influenced and respected.

As an organisation, Gravitate HR operates according to a series of evolving values (honesty, excellence, respect, encouragement, ambition and integrity) that are frequently revised as times and attitudes change. Furthermore, these values are not just stated in some forgotten corporate document that is only read during a new employee’s induction. Instead, staff are regularly reminded about them and there are genuine active discussions around them, aimed to shape our practices and processes as a company. In my opinion, the fact that Gravitate HR has this set of values and acts consistently with them, soundly demonstrates integrity.

Blog post by Carolina Perez, HR Assistant at Gravitate HR.