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Why Integrity is Part of My Business Strategy

Kristen

I founded Edify to help build a future where businesses are thriving because their people are prospering.

We follow three guiding perspectives at Edify, and these principles dictate how we work internally as a team as well as how we share with our customers.

The first guiding principle is integrity. When we think about integrity, we focus on the phrase “build with integrity.”

Integrity sounds great, but what does it really mean?

To us, it means working to do what’s right for our team and our customers, and recognizing that sometimes this work involves trade-offs. When we experience trade-offs within our organization, we strive to acknowledge the trade-off and act accordingly, even if it leads to a difficult decision.

It’s often easy for people — us included — to see a clear path based on what we know based on what’s right for employees or what’s right for the business.

When we see a vision of the “right” path for a team or company we also consider the ethics of the decision. We strive to always maintain the safety (both physical and psychological) of employees while making sure that the business is prospering and growing.

This is where trade-offs can happen. Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we see a clear decision that needs to be made, but the decision might involve conflict.

A good example of this is when an employee struggles because of a manager’s actions, but that manager is not seeking development for themselves. Whether the manager is actively sabotaging the team or just not seeing their own blind spots, the impacts on the team can be severe.

We’ve faced situations like this even on our own team at Edify, and it can be difficult to decide how to respond. The clear path — what makes the most sense for the business, the team, and the safety of the workplace environment — is to let that manager go. Their actions put the rest of the team at risk by creating a toxic work environment and culture, and that’s not good for productivity, not to mention the health and safety of the employees.

But even with this seemingly clear and easy answer, it’s still a difficult decision. No one likes to see a team member go, and it can be especially difficult if that manager is still a good individual contributor. Maybe they’re still adding a lot technically, or to the code base, or something similar.

Acting with integrity in this situation means calling attention to what’s really going on, and recognizing that there might be an unpleasant trade-off to make.

Whether the solution is to have a director talk with the manager, or to manage an individual out of the team, something needs to change for the sake of the team and the company overall.

It truly can be difficult to work with integrity, but we know that it makes the difference for our employees. To us, integrity means having the willingness to face any challenging circumstances that we find, and not compromise on our values to take the easier route.

What guiding perspectives do you have for your business?

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