An organization’s effectiveness is a reflection of it’s culture. This blog series will explore the 12 areas of cultural assessment that Goodnight Consulting has developed to evaluate an organization’s culture. To watch the overview video, go here.
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible…” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
Do employees do what is right without regard to personal or career consequences?
Are there workarounds within reporting chains or procedures?
“Would anyone ever even know?”
Late one evening, a tired Operator walks around the inside of a power plant on rounds. To his frustration, he finds a leaking valve. It’s getting late, his shift is nearly over, and he’s really looking forward to getting home. Since the valve is not safety-grade equipment and the leak is very small, would it really be such a big problem if he just ignored the leak? After all, the next shift will probably pick it up anyway. Anyone who has spent enough time in or around power plants knows what the Operator should do in this situation: if he is permitted and capable of doing so, he should fix the leak himself, otherwise he should tag the leak and get it into the corrective maintenance system. The worst thing he can do is to ignore the leak, but that may also be the most tempting option for him, given the circumstances.
A high-integrity person will do what is required, even when nobody is watching. Conversely, employees with low-integrity standards are toxic. Their behavior erodes trust, impacts morale, and even endangers others around them. As with many behaviors, instilling integrity in an organization requires strong leadership. When employees see that their leaders always do the right thing, they often follow their example. It is also important to hold accountable individuals who act with low integrity. When the consequences of demonstrating integrity, or a lack thereof, are clear, most employees will meet or exceed expectations and elevate the culture within their organization, creating a virtuous cycle.
Ways to Improve Integrity
Lead by example, even when nobody is watching.
Communicate your expectations.
Publicly and privately praise employees who hold to standards. Hold accountable those who fail to show integrity.
Goodnight Consulting maintains a confidential, proprietary database of cultural assessments, which we use to develop benchmarks for our clients. Our evaluations are based on decades of experience in the utility industry. If you find that your organization is weak in one of our 12 areas, please contact us to learn how we can help you improve.
12 Areas of Culture
Goodnight Consulting has identified 12 areas of culture that help define a successful organization. You can read about the other areas of culture here.