To Succeed, Keep Your Organization Honest


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Honest organizations are more successful. At least that’s the conclusion reached by Halley Bock, CEO and President of Fierce, Inc. In a recent article, she cites a 2010 Corporate Executive study that found companies encouraging honest feedback among their staff delivered 270 percent more on 10-year total shareholder returns than other companies. An astonishing difference, but why would honest companies be more profitable?

Fierce conducted its own investigation into the issue, and uncovered some interesting findings. After surveying more than 1,400 executives and employees, Fierce found that an overwhelming 99 percent of professionals preferred a workplace where employees were able to discuss issues truthfully. But more surprising, the survey found that 70 percent of the respondents believed a lack of honesty negatively impacted their company’s ability to perform, supporting the Corporate Executive Board’s findings.

So how can companies become more truthful? Surely, all leaders want their staff to feel as if they can tell the truth, but open and honest workplaces don’t happen organically.

Keep a Running Dialogue

One way to encourage honesty, Bock says, is through social networks. While most organizations try to be transparent, they often get caught in the trap of “terminal niceness,” or attempting to be politically correct at all times so as not to offend employees. While this is a well-intentioned approach toward maintaining a civil work environment, it is actually counterproductive. Bock argues that employees desire communication that more closely resembles social networking. What employees want, it seems, is a candid, running dialogue between managers, employees and coworkers.

Don’t Sugarcoat Issues

Another method Bock suggests to increase openness in the workplace is direct communication. In other words, don’t sugarcoat the issue. Some employers may think that cushioning a difficult conversation with compliments or small talk will alleviate tension, when in fact, it can complicate a delicate situation.

For instance, rather than telling an employee “We’re concerned about your attendance rate. Please try to see what you can do to remedy it,” Bock recommends being more direct, saying something like, “Our records show that you’ve been absent five times in the last two months. This exceeds the allotted three personal days we allow our employees, and any additional days you take off will be docked from your salary. If you are absent in excess of eight days, we’ll have to let you go. Please inform us if there is a personal or medical issue and we can try to determine the best way to address the situation.

If organizations want to avoid the communication stalemate that often results from politically correct communications, they should develop mechanisms to support clear communication with employees. Set aside a time once a month where staff can discuss their questions and concerns with supervisors. Encourage open communication. Accept even negative commentary as a way to improve your organization. After all, no organization ever improved without some constructive criticism and an open mind.

This guest post was contributed by Erin Osterhaus of Software Advice, a website that presents buyer’s guides, product profiles and customer reviews of talent management systems. To read the original article and others on talent management strategies, visit The New Talent Times.

The Integrity Wheel


We should all seek wholeness and emotional health through the proper channels of course. For some of us, the process to become “whole” and “healthy” is discovered through spirituality, counseling or other areas dealing with the inner self, which brings personal healing, growth and maturity within. In other words, you and I should strive to become a better version of ourselves, where all of our parts (spirit, soul and body) function properly.

I have chosen the “circle” to exhibit this model since a circle is symbolic of something that is perfect and whole.

The Integrity Wheel is a concept I developed a few years ago to assess one’s personal integrity in four areas:

1. Our Private Life
2. Our Personal Life
3. Our Professional Life
4. Our Public Persona


Each level has at least three areas to probe and evaluate (Go to link: Integrity Wheel). For instance, your personal life consists of many things. In my opinion, the most important areas is your marriage and family life, the way you view and practice financial planning, and your transparency (truthfulness, honesty, and openness) within the relationships that are most important in life.

Assessment Questions:

1. Private Life

a). What is your source of truth? Bible, Pagan Philosophy, other texts. Is your truth dynamic or static?
b). Is character important to you? If so, how do you go about cultivating character? Do you have mentors, who you allow to speak into your life? Are you constantly seeking self-improvement or just live day by day?
c). When searching the web, have you ever put your browser on “private settings” to view sexually illicit material? Is keeping your thoughts pure and unsullied important to you? What do you with a lustful thought?

2. Personal Life

a). How healthy is your marriage? Communication, Intimacy, Resolving Conflict, Openness, etc.

b). Is spending time with your children a priority? Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annual Vacations. The common cliche’ is “Love is spelled T.I.M.E.?” This infers that time spent with your kids is loving them. I differ, you can spend time with your kids and have a true connection with them. How do you spell LOVE?

c). How do you view debt, and financial planning? What’s your view of wealth?

3. Professional Life

a). How close are you with other employees, direct reports, even your supervisor at work? Are you relationships improving? Do you avoid opportunities to grow in your relationships?

b). Is speaking out for just causes and doing things right important to you at work? Do you cut corners to get work accomplished? 

c). Is there a secret relationship developing in your life at work, like a flirtatious relationship? Does your wife know about the “opposite sex” relationships in your workplace?


4. Public Persona

a). How involved are you with your community; neighbors, civic organizations, etc.? What do these people say about you behind your back?

b). Reputation: How do you build one? How important is having one out in public life?

c). What’s your involvement in your “house of worship”? Would people in this setting vouch for your reputation?

Take a few moments to reassess your integrity. The quality of your life just may depend on this assessment.
___________

The Integrity Wheel, all rights reserved (c)2008 by Joel Garcia, Founder and President of Latino Townhall, Inc.

Disingenuous News Media + An Uniformed Public = Chaos


By Nelson E. Santiago

It is becoming more apparent that news media outlets in newspapers, new magazines, television news and the Internet are leaving out what would be considered significant information from important stories. How does this have an affect on the opinions formed by the population of a country? There are three stories that immediately come to mind:

1. It has been reveled that there were emails that clearly showed influential scientists had purposefully manipulated data at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the most prominent research center for “anthropogenic global warming”. It now appears that other scientists had tried to warn other scientists and the press as far back as 2006 that the data was flawed. Why was this not reported?

2. It was reported that the Arizona law SB 1070 would “allow racial profiling” and that you could be stopped by the police simply because you “looked Hispanic” or Mexican. What happened among the Latino population as a result of this inaccuracy?

3. On May 1, 2010, there was an attempt to commit a substantial act of terror in New York City. While it has been established that the terrorist had recently become citizen of the United States, it is also known he was originally from Pakistan and had recently spent months in Pakistan training in explosives in a region known as a center for Islamic jihadist.

Why has the press been so reluctant to identify him as a devout Muslim with ties to the most radical elements of the Islamic religion? What is really going on?