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Do You Expect Your Employees to be Honest?

Are you modelling the way?

Do You Expect Your Employees to be Honest?

One of the big leadership principals is “modelling the way.”  This means, if there is an expectation of a standard of conduct expected of employees, then as the owner, there is an expectation you will act in a similar manner.  And yet, do we? 

All too often I see business owners putting on The Show by driving big fancy cars, eating in restaurants frequently, playing lots of golf and talking about exotic vacations.

When it is time to talk about employee compensation, suddenly the business fortunes are not doing so well.  About a year ago I was meeting with a client who had just proudly given me a tour of his new million dollar building expansion and the modern electronic equipment. Later in our conversation, he suggested employees wouldn’t be getting raises this year because the business hadn’t done very well. 

“In whose eyes?” was my response. 

Honesty and openness are very big Values for me.  As employers, we cannot have one set of rules for us and a completely different set of rules for our employees and call ourselves a team. We cannot expect to have our employees on the same page as we are if we don’t have the same set of values and principals by which we govern ourselves. 

Honesty does not require definition as much as a full commitment. All too often in our struggles to manage our business affairs, coping with the challenges and disappointments, we redefine our honesty to ourselves and our employees. 

When you become honest with yourself first and foremost, clarity as to where you are and where you are going arises.  Honesty and openness with people with whom you establish a relationship clarifies the relationship. Honesty and openness clarifies communication. 

The next time you question the honesty of an employee, reflect on you walking the talk.  Are you modelling the way?

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