Corporate Culture Series: Living Our DNA [Integrity]September 23, 2015
In today’s fast-paced work environment where success is the No. 1 priority, sometimes it is easy to overlook the need for integrity in our everyday life. In my tenure in the workforce I have realized that being viewed as a “man of integrity” carries a lot more weight than a “man of success.” Ethical behavior is the primary factor that leads to earning the trust of your coworkers, clients and even upper management. It is the driving force behind not just doing good work, but doing good, ethical, honest work where you are always conscientious of others and business outcomes. To me, having integrity in the workplace and being a consultant to our clients means three major focus points that make me a more well-rounded recruiter: having integrity with my client, my company and myself.
Build Trust with your Clients
The first focus point (and probably the most important) is having strong integrity with your clients. Throughout my time here at WilsonHCG, I have consulted for multiple clients, and no two accounts are the same. With each client, the most important part is having open communication and dialogue regarding the client’s needs and what you will be able to bring to the table to meet those needs. Honesty is crucial, especially during the implementation period of a new account, as it builds the trust you need with the client to make necessary adjustments as the account grows.
Once you are able to develop that strong consultative relationship, you are able to go beyond just recruiting and into other areas of RPO such as talent communities, employer branding and system implementations. I have touched on of all of these areas, and without being a “consultant of integrity,” the client would never trust me with other projects. Finally, having strong integrity with your client means having those difficult conversations we sometimes don’t want to have. If we think a process could be bettered, we need to find a way to voice our concern without stepping on someone’s toes. If we don’t think the applicant tracking system (ATS) currently in place is operating in the capacity the company needs it to, we also need to be able to voice our concerns and come to the table with suggestions. Sometimes consultants think that their job is just to do what they are told, when in reality we are here to make processes — and life — easier for our clients.
Create Your Personal Brand with Integrity
The second focus point is having integrity with your company. For me, this is especially important because sometimes I can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of my clients’ work culture, so it can be easy to forget to be an active participant at my organization. With my company, I am not afraid to voice my concerns with an account, or a roadblock that I know we might be facing down the road. I also try to be an active part of my supervisor’s calls with the clients so I know where the project management piece of the account is heading and if there is anything that seems to me would need extra attention I can ask for help or plan for ahead of time. Being honest with your company allows you to avoid sticky situations that might affect your relationship with the client or your working relationship with your coworkers and supervisor.
One of the key pieces of ensuring you are acting with integrity is to be a voice for your organization’s brand at all times. You can do this by being transparent with your reporting and achievements with your clients to your entire team. You should also strive to be diligent in understanding all sides of the issues affecting your team to try to come up with solutions that everyone can agree on. Lastly, you have to always be willing to have those tough conversations with your team when necessary. You want your coworkers to know that when they can come to you with questions, they will receive honest and open feedback from someone who respects the brand. Your ability to build that brand for yourself comes strictly by being a person with a strong moral compass and passion for your company's and clients' wellbeing.
Be Honest with Yourself
The last focus point is, of course, having integrity within yourself. Being honest with yourself and your needs is crucial to your wellbeing and work-life balance. Know when to take a break and when to shut down for the night. Sometimes you might hit a roadblock in the evening that becomes so clear with a fresh mind the next morning. Give yourself the appropriate time you need to rest. Also, have open communication with your supervisor about what your goals with the company are and where you want to be. It is your responsibility to manage and define your responsibilities and, if you’re unhappy with a current company practice or function within your job, make it your job to change it. Making a timeline of things to accomplish prior to a promotion is a great way to stay honest with your goals. Personally, we track our performance through an individual development plan, which allows the company to be transparent with us about what we need to do to reach the next step in our role. Lastly, don’t be afraid to raise your hand for extra assignments if you feel like you have free time, as taking on more responsibility helps you grow within your role.
Thomas Dunfee of the Wharton School of Business once said, “A company that fails to take steps to produce a climate conducive to positive work-related ethical attitudes may create a vacuum in which employees so predisposed may foster a frontier-style, everyone for themselves mentality." Without making integrity an important part of your corporate culture, you lose that collaborative vision that a company must share. In my time at WilsonHCG, I have learned that a company’s integrity is the most significant factor in supporting a collaborative culture and vision. It is with this vision that WilsonHCG continues to grow and operate with integrity for its workforce and clients alike.
James Gamito is a millennial with a passion for gen Y. He holds an MBA with a focus in human resource management from Florida International University. In his tenure in the field he has worked in both public and private sectors in various capacities within human resources. He considers university recruitment and working with the millennial generation one of the smartest investments companies can make to secure top talent.
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