Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Integrity compromises at work - Why?

This was posted on Ambie's Blog on Sunday 14 December 2008

Every human being lives on, based on trust. We go to sleep trusting that we would awake after a good sleep. Work is given to us in the same kind of trust, that we would finish it up as required, without any questionable actions. Life is shared among people in different forms like friendship, relationship, etc in the same sort of trust. But when the trust is found violated/breached, it would be chaos in the concerned relationship, personal or professional.

Of late we have come across quite a disturbing trend of integrity violations at workplaces, right across the globe . Why these are happening? The answer to this is none other than performance pressure and lack of a work culture. When it comes to performance managers prefer to reward the go-getter kind, irrespective of where they go and how they get the results.

I know a person who was awarded best performer for getting unbelievably good numbers with his work. His photo was flashed across the LoB and he was rewarded for being an example to others. A couple of weeks he was found to have fudged the numbers in some way and was asked to leave the job. But still, his name remained in the toppers list and people were shown that result as an example till the end of that business quarter.

These sort of activities send out wrong signals. I know people who did what was told to them and got axed, while the perpetrators got safe with preaching integrity to the rest. It is the administering of the organizational culture that really matters. Organizations need to send out clear signal that integrity violation would never be taken easy, and follow that as night follows the day. This would keep a check on people aiming at short term goals, losing sight on long term objectives.

When people work for immediate gains and lose sight of the long run objectives, they create and operate in a vicious environment, that would end up the organization and the people in trouble. The consequences may come up to losing a client account, thus bringing heavy loss of business and goodwill. The thought leaders in an organization shall make sure the middle and junior management is educated and constantly reminded on the long term objectives of the organizations, so that they could be aware of the consequences when they tend to go for the short term benefits.

This happens because of the aloof style of management, where the modusoperandi is not checked before lauding the result. A culture of checks and balances could effectively be implemented only if it comes from top down. The difficulty when it comes from bottom up is that, at any given point, the mission could be aborted by an aloof/corrupt manager.

It is the responsibility of the top management not just to preach integrity and roam around, but also to check at random and make sure an awareness and alertness of being watched is created and spread across the organization.

No comments: