Honesty is the Best Policy

We were taught this since we started going to school. Teachers, parents, their friends, relatives all stressing so hard on these words and then they sounded really good to ears.

You all will think why I’m talking like this, we all are very honest and yes honesty is the best policy. But is it?

My belief in this particular statement is vanishing day by day, the more scams come in to the open the more scary so called honesty looks.

We as HR professionals, talks so much about Ethics, values, morals, code of conduct, but is it really seen in Organizations or these are just most famous jargons of HR.

Firms started highlighting their ethical stature since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s as the world witnessed serious economic and natural disasters because of unethical business practices.

Be it sales, marketing, public relations, financial position of company there are many ways when we just no more work on Honesty is the best Policy.

While handling Performance Management system, are we honest to our team members or for that matter to the management? The ratings we give to each employee are they truly worth or more or less than that. Can we leave our mind away from bias, prejudices or judgments? Very difficult indeed.

Advertising is one such area, do you think all that the companies advertise is it all true? If their products are all that great then why do they get into controversies?

When selling a product to a customer, do we tell them the truth? Nope that is just not possible. Similarly do all the companies show their financial results without any hidden truths and facts, I used to think so but not anymore. There is something or the other that we try and hide but we don’t agree that it is dishonesty.

We all believe it to be old-fashioned lying and deception in the way of working in an organization. The other way of cheating or dishonesty is to get the work done but also beat the system. The recent example of it is Satyam, the clients were happy with the company, the employees were happy, the Government was Happy, and suddenly it all comes to an end and the biggest scam ever in Indian Inc is revealed. Overnight all happy clients, customers, vendors, Government, and employees started talking negatively about this company.

The era of industrial and scientific revolution tells us that people can reason themselves towards better behavior, but now having seen the repulsions of what the industrial and scientific revolution has brought upon us, many of us have given up any hope of finding a unified answer for right and wrong. In fact, many now actually fear anyone who thinks that he or she has a knob on any supreme standard by which we might live.


The importance of values in business is also underlined by the increasing emphasis on

Corporate governance. This is an index of the increasing awareness about the need for having a proper moral, value and ethical framework for taking decisions in business.

It takes a lot of character and strength to never step outside the line or to be sidetracked by some currents. Honesty in Organisation means you have to act responsibly, knowing the best interests of your company and also protecting the interests of your associates, partners and subordinates.

The top management of an organization is accountable for the culture in which ordinary people with ordinary moral weaknesses make their decisions. And the top management is not accountable only as a group. Each and every manager is personally accountable for what he or she does or doesn’t do to guarantee that all organizational activities are carried out with integrity.

Be responsible, take initiative even if you have failed in something, and be honest in the end you have to see your self every morning in the mirror…

The system has to be corrected and we all have to carry a band wagon of honesty to create a system which can boast of its own stature even when you are no longer attached to the system. Every policy, code of conduct needs to be carefully designed not just by copying it from here and there. Read, search, observe and understand your companies before you design code of ethics. Let people not say anymore that HR does not have much work to do.

  • Amrityadav

    I also agree with this that it is good only in books that honesty is best policy sea the result of a honest D C in orissa malkangiri he was abducted because he was working for the development that is why they came into the eye of maoists result is in front of us so how a people can think aboutthe honesty

  • Virchand Vira

    You are very true in your statement & doubt about being honest in present scenario. But the root cause of all this is our deteriorating social structure. The rot has started mainly from our corrupt politicians who have made it difficult for any honest bureaucrat, police officer or businessman to survive.
    But still there are people like MR. Sonawane( Manmad), Malkangiri, who give hope for continuity of our values.
    Let us hope for the best &not loose the hope.

    Virchand Vira

  • Gradvas

    Excellent article from the heart. Ever TRUTH remains as TRUTH only and if we live against the nature we are sure of landing in many troubles. Best way is to be honest to self ,the maximum possible since the business ethics & etc is not determined by induvidual but circumstances towards survival force people to live accordingly.