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The Characteristics which exhibit Management Integrity
The subject of management integrity and whether it exists in society seems to be in question. Integrity in and of itself is an important trait which should be instilled in every individual but especially in management officials. This includes not only the private sector but government entities. Each one of us has our own definition of what having integrity represents. Basic principles/characteristics include but not limited to honesty, character, truthfulness and trust. Those in management who exhibit these characteristics in the manner associated with their position will be seen as exhibiting that integrity, an important trait. Each one of these characteristics is important in today’s economic situation.
Honesty above all other characteristics is a trait sorely needed in society today. The responsibilities of management positions and those who hold them make this characteristic a critical one. How management displays this trait can be seen in the decisions they make in reference to what they say. Management today in many cases are not truly honest with their employees with respect to answering questions that employees sometimes raise in relation to rumors. Displaying the trait of honesty will create a sense of respect for who they are as a person. This is important if they hope to motivate their employees.
Another aspect of integrity involves the fact that management must or should admit when they do not have the answers to employee questions. We as employees and management must understand that one person does not know all the answers in a work environment. When this is the case they should inform the employees of this fact and strive to get the answers to questions being asked. Many companies today are in an unfavorable financial situation and as a result employees are fearful of losing their jobs. This is understandable. In these situations honesty from management is critical not only for the individual but in some cases the company. Management sometimes makes a commitment to their employees or an employee in some situations. Commitments are important in exhibiting the characteristics of integrity only if the promises are not false. Management must not commit themselves to actions for which they have no power or authority to implement. Commitments by management or anyone must be limited to those that are within their power to accomplish, if not the commitment should not be made. Individuals who honor their word, especially management gains respect from their employees and thereby create a positive image in working for an organization.
While honesty is an important trait it should be combined with the characteristic of character. Character involves the distinctive mental and moral qualities which are part of any individual’s demeanor. It is what distinguishes one person, group or thing from another. We do not determine the character we have as this is an evaluation that others have of us based on our actions and our decisions. Whether we have good character or bad sometimes depends on how we were raised and the examples provided by our parents. It can also be influenced by those with whom we keep company. In terms of management in a company or organization it is important to have individuals or a group of individuals with good character to make the right decisions for their company and the employees. Good character represents that good choices and decisions are made when they impact others. Bad character is making bad choices and decisions that can and has impacted individuals and companies hurting not only employees but the customers who buy their products and/or services.
Another term which management should have is the trait of truthfulness. Some may not understand what this term means or its relationship to the characteristic of honesty. The easiest definition is that truthfulness is the documentation of being honest. Honesty is something that can only be proven by documentation. Making statements which are not supported by documentation does not say much about a person’s character or honesty. Management must back their words with documentation and action.
Last but not least is the characteristic of trust. Trust is not easily earned especially in these economic times. It is not earned in a day but over a period of time. As employees we come to know an individual based on our interaction with them and we make a determination of whether we can trust them. Sometimes individuals say something to another to see if they can keep something confidential. Part of earning trust from another is keeping something confidential that is not meant for everyone. The current economic times in itself is creating an atmosphere of distrust with management given the fact that companies are either closing or they are reducing the number of employees they have on the payroll. This may not always be the case but the lack of trust can be seen in several news reports and/or polls examples of which have been negotiations between management and those who represent their employees.