Originally published on Alexander Gladney’s website.
You’ve heard these common says before: “Honesty is a virtue.” “Honesty is the best policy.” “Honesty is key.”
While these cliche phrases have been overused to describe certain situations, there is undeniably some truth to be found within these words, especially as they apply to leadership and the workforce. In fact, employees value honesty as the most admired leadership quality in their bosses.
While it is the most valued trait, it is, sadly, often the one that many bosses fail to achieve. Honesty is not something that can be easily taught or learned, especially when a person understands what honesty is yet can’t apply it to their professional or personal lives.
A lack of honesty actually disrupts workflow and makes curating a successful business almost impossible. Researchers have found a direct correlation between an employee’s impression of their manager and their work satisfaction levels. An honest leader inspires trust from his or her employees, which often leads to better employee performance. It has been found that when employees trust their boss, they come into work more often, they are not as stressed while at their job, and their quality of life is better as a result.
If you plan to cultivate a thriving work environment for your employees so that your business will continue to grow, it is crucial that you set the standards that your employees will mimic. If you are an honest leader, you will attract and keep honest employees.
Looking at the quality of your employees, as well as the environment within your office, is like holding a mirror up to yourself. When you lay the foundation of honesty, you already begin to build up a healthy working environment. If you maintain those standards, your business will only continue to evolve in that direction.
However, being an honest leader is not always easy. You need to be honest with yourself first, which can be difficult for some leaders because it’s admitting that you have weaknesses and that you need to make changes. You also need to be honest with your employees, which means that you will have to have undesirable conversations from time to time in order to maintain honesty within the office.
Despite the tough situations that can arise from being an honest leader, the benefits significantly outweigh the negatives. You will be a more satisfied leader, your employees will respect you, and your company will be built on a strong foundation that won’t have as many weak spots.