“Honesty is the best policy” is one of the simplest and most renowned of philosophies but as adults, this becomes a much broader concept. It becomes a cultural paradigm covering trust, integrity, ethics and more in the workplace. Creating an environment of honesty and transparency in the workplace will only serve to help your organization succeed while fostering self-accountability and responsibility. The organization’s employees are happier and empowered to step up and fix any workplace issues. When you voice the truth management to employee or vice-versa will help to identify issues and work together as a team to resolve it.   

Here are a few tips to create an honest environment in your workplace:

  1. Set a good example to everyone by holding yourself to a high moral and ethical standard: When the management and leadership of the organization set itself and the company with high moral and ethical standards it provides a solid example to the employees and their expectations from them. Including said expectations in the organization’s missions statement and employee handbook while also promoting open and honest communications between vendors and customers will also help.
  2. Leave the judgments at the door: If an employee is provided the freedom to express their opinions at work, this will foster an environment where they can freely express their ideas and concerns that would be beneficial to the workplace.
  3. Promote open and honest communication: Allowing employees to voice concerns, offer ideas and seek counsel with the management without the fear of punishment will help to keep the workplace free from dishonesty and negativity. Start an open door policy and schedule time every week or so to speak with employees to gain an insight into the pulse of the workplace and quickly identify any problems that are persistent.
  4. Address mistakes as soon as possible: Mistakes will eventually occur, but covering them up will only perpetuate a habit of dishonesty. If an employee makes a mistake but comes up clean and seeks to address the mistake, the employers and co-workers should appreciate this and with teamwork resolve the problem.
  5. Have a system in place to check repeated unethical behavior: Create a system for penalties (like lowered incentives or termination) for those employees who continually display dishonest behavior.
  6. Set up a rewards system for employees having a consistent honest behavior: These could be additional paid time offs, awards/certificates of recognition, etc.