The meaning of integrity is simple; however, it is not necessarily simple to live out! When it comes to business it becomes even more difficult to have integrity since everyone is trying to build their business seem to directly violate the law. As an example, scheduling your employees in a way that prevents you legally from having to pay overtime while at the same time not having any regard for their lives. You consider yourself a smart business person, and to the business world you are. The problem is that you have demonstrated to your employees that you value yourself over them. You may have saved a few dollars by avoiding paying overtime, but lost their respect and possibly their loyalty.
No one ever said that running a business is easy. Yes, it can be great to be in control of your own destiny, but that comes with making some very stressful decisions that will have an impact on your staff and your customers. Try to remember the most basic principle of business is that you must balance equally the needs of your employees, customers and of course the business owners. If you get any of these out of balance you will in time fail. In most cases if they are out of balance, you will also not be acting and operating with integrity.
As an example, if you as the business owner are disregarding the needs of your customers and employees to make as much profit as you can you are not acting with integrity. You may be following the law in every way, but disregarding their needs to fulfill yours is not living with integrity. It is selfish and selfish is not included in the mean of integrity.
On the flip side of that, do not provide all the benefit to your employees or customers. That will eventually drive you out of business and then everyone loses. This means that you need to pay your employees a fair wage based on their talents and contributions to your success. As well ask, charge and treat your customers as equal partners with the knowledge that without them you will fail. Whether it’s a service or product you are supplying, you must provide quality at a fair price.
The old statement “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right”, rings so true in business. From the types of safety equipment to the materials or ingredients used. If you treat your decisions with the idea that your employees and customers are your family the results will amaze you. You will be building a very successful business not matter what your product or service is.
Always start with the end in mind. Visualize the entire process from start to finish and put yourself in your employee’s and customer’s place, without disregarding your position as an owner.
In the end, the meaning of integrity is simple! Do the right thing for everyone, and not just for yourself!