Integrity

How exactly do you teach and show honesty? I have interviewed many companies who always talk about integrity and honesty as a culture. Is it really the case and how do you measure “honesty” and “integrity”? One of the most interesting practices I have seen has to be PKT Logistics led by Dato’ Michael Tio (DMT).

He has an Honesty Corner where goodies are sold and no one monitors the place. Prices are listed and it is assumed that people will pay what is due into a collection box. At the end of the day, stocks are checked to see if everything is in order (there is no CCTV). In the early days, there were obviously discrepancies and an infographic is sent to all the staff (via Facebook and that’s another story altogether). And as long as there are discrepancies, DMT would declare that the company is dishonest. For a few years, the company was 40 to 60% honest. If it was constantly at this level, was the exercise even worth it?

What happened along the way was that employees pressured themselves (self-monitoring) and their colleagues on why this could not be achieved. Senior management also looked at ways to improve themselves. There were more frequent checks on a daily basis and when employees knew this was an important aspect, people bucked up. Accounts of what was transacted that day became prompt and punctual.

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Inspirational quotes were placed up to remind people that honesty is the end result of integrity. The encouragement and the results acted like a mirror and a reflection of what they were. As the honesty level went up, the quantity and variety of snacks increased. And now, the company is 90 to 100% honest. In fact, there were some days where over 100% was achieved. It was then called charity and DMT also had to explain that the company isn’t a charity organization 🙂

Having amazingly achieved the once-thought impossible 100% honesty at their KL Headquarters, this had a strong knock-on effect on the Penang office. This induced the Penang office Honesty Corner to raise their own standards and they too achieved 100% honesty levels within a quarter. Currently, PKT Logistics has taken on themselves to spread and embed this honesty culture into a college which they have invested into. Watch this space!

Are people innately good? I believe people would naturally gravitate towards the path of least resistance and take the easy way out. I would! I guess ALL behaviours can be developed if nurtured and encouraged; good and bad. Here’s the thing, the attitude and the culture of something as simple as this will definitely permeate into every aspect of life. I saw this Honesty Corner last year and was completely mesmerized and intrigued how something as simple as this can be effective with an organization of about 400 staff.

What does this teach people or about ourselves? How can we be honest about the big things if we can’t be honest with a Snickers bar? Can we all start a little Honesty Corner everywhere?

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10

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