By Frank Ofili
Integrity is a quality of being honest and upright in character. This includes being honest about:
- The time you resume work: If you are supposed to resume work at 8.00 a.m., and you arrive at 8.30a.m., write the exact time you arrived.
- The Money or other official items entrusted to your care: If you have your organization’s money or other items with you for safe keeping, it means you were trusted. Do not betray that trust. Do not take out of that money or other items for personal use. Do not borrow it even if you are under intense financial pressure. Do not spend it without authorization. If you have to disburse out it, keep a record of the disbursement – who, how much, for what purpose, and who is the approving authority. Also do not be careless in spending the company’s money. Be sure to spend within approved budget, and make sure there is proper accountability for every amount of money spent for official purposes. Do not inflate or falsify expenditure, and do not put up false claims. Finally, do not solicit gratification before you do your job.
- Official work hours: Work during official hours even when your boss is not there to supervise you. Do not loiter or while away the time needlessly.
- Diligence: Be diligent; be steady in applying your efforts, skill, and creativity on the job; do not be lazy. You cannot be in the good books if you are not hard-working. Employers only retain hard-working and productive employees. If you want to be relevant in your organization, then you must decide to work more than you earn. Wise employees seek to receive less they are worth; it is foolish employees who want to earn more than they are worth. Such employees soon get thrown out.
ATTITUDE TO BOSS AND SUPERIOR AUTHORITY
Attitude is a manner of feeling, thinking or behaving by someone. It is the disposition to act in a particular manner. Your attitude to your immediate boss and other superior authority goes a long way in determining your career. A wise employee should take to do the following:
- Know Your Boss: Study your boss to know the kind of person he is, his sensitivities and temperament. Is he choleric, volatile or patient and tolerant? Is he reticent, taciturn or urbane? Does he have a massive ego? You need to adjust yourself to him and his work style. Do not take his soft spot for granted; you might be surprised at what you get back. Take time to know what he wants and what he expects from you. At all times, do not complain to his hearing. Show willingness to go the extra mile. Give him his due respect; do not attempt to upstage him. Even if you have done something brilliant and commendable, give him credit. Skill, talent, certificate and training can secure you a promotion, but your character will keep you on that employment
- Obey Your Boss Always: Do not give excuses when you are required to go the extra mile. Anytime you are called upon to work, do it cheerfully. The employer loves a cheerful worker.
- Be Amenable to Correction: Do not feel insulted when your boss gives you harsh words after you have performed an assignment poorly. He has a right to be angry with you if you have done a shoddy job. So do not put up an unpleasant attitude when and after being corrected or rebuked. Instead take correction, make amends, apologize and get on with your work without frowning or putting up attitude. Your boss does not expect you to be perfect, but he expects you to show the willingness to learn.
- Do not be proud: To be proud is to be arrogant, over-confident and pompous. Do not be too busy that you cannot greet your boss when he walks by. You may be older than him, but this is not an excuse. If your boss walks into your office, get up from your seat and stay standing unless he asks you to sit. Similarly, if he is talking to you stand up and display proper mien. Pride is dangerous. It emanates from your heart. It tells you that you are crucial and indispensable. This is far from the truth. You may be important but definitely not too important as to be indispensable. No one is. So show the proper deference to your boss at all times.
- Respect and Appreciate Your Boss: To respect is to hold in high esteem, to revere, to admire, and to appreciate is to be grateful, thankful and glad about something or someone. How do you disrespect your boss?
(a) Chewing gum or eating when you are talking with him
(b) answering telephone calls when standing before him
(c) talking when he is talking
(d) not taking notes when your boss is talking – he reads this to mean that you think he does not have anything important to say
(e) Frowning or putting up attitude when not happy about what your boss is saying to you
(f) not knocking before you enter his office
(g) taking your seat in from of him when you have not been asked to seat, (h) laughing when he is saying something serious
(i) Closing before your boss without his permission – this tells him you are not ready to commit to the organization. Any or all of these is a sign that you do not respect him. And how do you show him appreciation?
(a) remembering important days in his life – e.g. birthday, wedding anniversary
(b) sending him good wishes during celebrations – e.g. Christmas, etc.
(c) giving him a gift he will like.
- Do not Complain to Everyone About Your salaryOr about your Boss: Complaining to anyone about salary is wrong. Soon, your boss will get to know about it, and that will tell him your heart is not in the organization, and if your heart is not there, you will not be productive. He might decide to fire you for this. Same goes for complaining to everyone about your boss. He will read it to mean you ‘re not happy working with him, or that you want to incite your colleagues against him. Similarly, do not slander your boss or call him names behind him. Soon he will get to know.
- Do not over-dress: This is a double-edged sword. Some bosses would feel offended if you dress shabbily. To them, you are advertising to the world that they do not remunerate well enough. On the other hand, some other bosses would feel you are rubbing shoulders with them if you dress too smartly or too flamboyantly; or that you are dipping your hands in the office kitty. Some other bosses would not care one bit whether you are over dressed or shabby, as long you do your job. The trick is to find a middle ground. Dress moderately but professionally. Same goes for personal accessories such as phones. Do not use phones more expensive than your bosses unless you are sure he does not mind.
- Be Disciplined: Exercise self-control and moderation over everything you do and say. Your success in your organization, to some extent, depends on your personal capacity to withstand pressure. Avoid shouting back at your boss (or your superior officer) or exchanging hot words with him when he is annoyed with you over something not properly done. Exercise restraint over your temper, emotions, and feelings. Perish the thought to reply him in like manner. Do not talk back to your boss or any officer superior to you no matter how bad you feel. Instead show remorse and reply in a soft tone that will pacify him.
- Do not Drop the Phone before your Boss does: After you have finished speaking with your boss (or any officer superior to you) on the phone, do not hang up or drop the handset first. Wait until he has dropped before you drop yours. Do not be in a hurry to drop the handset. It is your duty to listen to all the instructions or messages your boss wants to give you. If you replace the handset before him, it is not only a sign of lack of courtesy but also impatience and irritation.