A Response: How to Build a Company That (Actually) Values Integrity

August 03 2020

Last week, I came across this article from the Harvard Business Review. As a company that frequently touts and emphasizes the importance of our integrity – it piqued my interest. I read through and I wanted to share some insights and my review as well.

The article starts by saying, “For decades, leaders were expected to focus on one thing: financial results. But we are now in the midst of an ethical revolution.” This makes me reflect on how pioneering my parents, the founders of Kingsgate, were in 1986 when starting Kingsgate. Not just for the time period but also in the transportation/logistics industry (an industry that’s not known for honesty or integrity). They’ve always stressed the importance of integrity at home and work!

When it came to our customers, my dad always said, “I don’t care if someone doesn’t like me, they’ll never be able to say I didn’t treat them right.” We’ve held each other to that principle for over 30 years as we’ve grown, making sure that every client can attest that we do what we say, and we say what we believe. That’s why at Kingsgate, we make a choice every day to be honest with each other, with our customers and with ourselves. Here are four practices Harvard Business Journal suggests can encourage integrity in the workplace:

  1. Lead by example – From our founders to our upper management and so on, we have looked for leaders who “openly and directly talk about integrity, embrace it as part of the culture, and be ready to do the ‘right thing,’ even if it appears to hurt business in the short run.”
  2. Make your ethics code your own – Kingsgate has always used the unique industry we’re in to create our code of ethics and use our core values to create our policies.
  3. Talk about it – From each step of the onboarding process to the last day at Kingsgate, we emphasize our company attributes, our core values and Kingsgate’s history. All three of these incorporate and emphasize integrity.
  4. Remember the repetition matters – As the article states, “Integrity can’t be handled by a once-a-year email or a couple of pages in a forgotten employee handbook… repetition matters.” This again is why integrity is in every element of what we do at Kingsgate. It’s written in our office décor, it’s on our website, it’s discussed in meetings. Reminders of the importance are all around at Kingsgate!

It’s Kingsgate’s relationships that keep us in business and it’s the integrity of those relationships that set us apart!

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham

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