How Does Integrity At Work Impact Mental Health?

Is integrity at work possible and attainable, if so, what’s the benefit of integrity at work to workplace health and wee-being?

In a culture where being first is celebrated, being a winner at all cost sometimes means cheating, taking credit for other’s work, speaking first and over others, advocating your point of view, selling ourselves, embellishing the resume to get shortlisted for the interview, or winning the competition by diminishing others’ achievements, one can easily forget the mental health benefits of integrity at work. Low or inconsistent acts of integrity can make the workplace feel like a harsh, psychologically unsafe place to be.

I have spent the last 24 years as a Conflict Analyst for large organizations, government, and post-secondary institutions mediating conflicts, addressing complaints and relationship break down at every level of the organization, and the issue of integrity, trust, safety, happiness and well-being at work are closely related.

The human brain is incredibly good at assessing friends and foes without conscious awareness. Often employees tell me they don’t trust a leader, co-worker, or even their organization. When I explore this it seems that they have been feeling uncomfortable with the little things that have been going on at work that made them feel unsafe.

When a manager discusses another manager negatively with a staff member, he or she is sending a clear message of low moral principle. It may not seem like a big deal at the time but it does have a shadow effect. One that tells employees everyone is fair game in this workplace. 

Amy Rees Anderson in her article success will come and go, but integrity lives forever, suggests that integrity is doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances whether or not anyone is watching.

Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and uprightness.

Many workplaces have quality assurance policies that employees must follow to ensure compliance with safety regulations in their work output but the strict adherence to quality can be overlooked in how employees treat each other.

This week in my Office Hour LinkedIn Live Show, I talked about integrity in behaviour asking yourself how you can demonstrate integrity. Being accountable, reliable, keeping your words and showing up where and when you are needed or expected to be there.

A young professional described a co-worker as “undependable, lazy, a waste of time, and should not be employed” because in three years he had not responded to one email sent requesting information to support his customer, not provided assistance, nor been of any assistance, and his colleagues are often left doing his work. He didn’t rate her on her integrity scale.

Can your co-workers count on you? Can they provide a positive reference for you? If not, what do you need to change at work so others feel safe with you?

This November 8-10, 2021, I will be hosting the Global Workplace Workplace Wellness Summit inviting organizations to bring the entire team to have deep rich, and life-changing conversations that will impact the culture and well-being and future of work to learn more view the website here

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Joyce Odidison is President of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. for over 24 years, and Founder of the Global Workplace Wellness Summit. She is also Coach Training Director and Founder of Coach Velocity School of Coaching, the first black-owned coaching school approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Joyce is a Conflict Analyst, Speaker, Author, thought leader, and the world’s leading expert on Interpersonal Wellness Competency Mindset teaching and coaching. She is Host of the and What’s Happening at Work podcast and LinkedIn Newsletter. Joyce is a C-Suite level workplace wellness expert, author, and corporate trainer, who works with government, private sector, non-profits, and post-secondary institutions struggling with difficult work relationships or stressful situations. She can be reached at phone 1 877 999-9591

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