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Business and Integrity – Growing Trust is the Key

Growing the trust of your staff is the key to integrity in the workplace, according to IntegrityLine CEO Hadyn Smith.

When staff feel safe speaking up, and the organisations values align, the foundations are in place to ensure that even the most vulnerable can have a voice, says Smith.

The 2022 EY Global Integrity Report, suggests growing levels of misconduct for personal gain and highlights that the pandemic has created additional integrity-related challenges. It also says that unethical behaviour in high performers is more likely to be tolerated. Many of these findings reinforce what IntegrityLine is seeing in Aotearoa.

IntegrityLine says that trust grows when there is an opportunity to say what’s wrong anonymously. Smith says,

“If you look at most work-related reporting options, they start with a focus on you rather than what you know. That’s a bridge too far for many when they’re simply wanting someone to know what’s happening and/or make it stop. An article in the NZ Herald after the first Covid lockdown suggested that complaints relating to bullying or overbearing staff have also increased, and as many as one in five employees experienced workplace bullying or harassment. Women, ethnic groups and migrant communities are more likely to report experiencing this type of discrimination at work,” .

Many of these people want to do the right thing and only lodge a complaint or personal grievance when other attempts at resolution failed, said Smith.

Some employers believe that complaints are the measure when they are just one part of changing a culture for good. However, things like a one-question survey can also provide an informed start to growing trust.

IntegrityLine works in this space and recently ran a webinar on Speaking Up Safely. Our experience suggests that growing integrity and trust at work must start by giving everyone who needs it a safe option to speak up.

Ngā mihi – Hadyn Smith
+64 22 108 8928

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