Good Work Ethic — A Guarantee Of Success
What is work ethic? It’s the way someone conducts herself or himself at work, how they interact with others, how punctual they are, how well they do their work and how committed they are. It follows naturally from this short description that a strong work ethic is vital for the success of any enterprise. There isn’t — or at least there shouldn’t be — an employer in the world who doesn’t care how committed their employees are, how engaged they are with what they do. Engagement and job satisfaction drive better bottom lines, after all.
Strong work ethic has five characteristic features, which ambitious employees should strive to develop and constantly improve, and employers should try to foster in their employees. First among these is integrity, the ability to create and maintain relationships of trust with your co-workers and managers, as well as with clients, being able and willing to give honest feedback, in short, displaying sound morals and reliability. Another feature of a person with a good work ethic is the sense of responsibility. Fostering personal responsibility in employees without making their work sound like a punishment is probably one of the harder tasks of managers. After all, the inherent sense of responsibility is different in different people, some are naturally more responsible in everything they do than others. But fostered this sense should be — feeling personal responsibility for a task makes us excel at it, put our best effort into accomplishing the set goal.
Another thing that sets those with a good work ethic from the rest is that they don’t compromise the quality of their work. Many unmotivated, disengaged employees can only be bothered to do the minimum of what is expected of them. In contrast, people who are engaged and committed will be ready to go the extra mile in order to perform at the top of their abilities and skills. This excellence requires what is the fourth feature of a strong work ethic — discipline. Nobody is in full working mode all the time, productivity and energy fluctuate during the day, so it takes some discipline to stay late in the office and finish an urgent project, for example, or come in earlier to help a co-worker with a particularly difficult task.
Last but by no means least is the sense of teamwork in each of us. Some are better at being individual players, others are born to work in a team, so this is also something that takes improvement, as most work environments involve some form of teamwork. Here the key figure is that of the team leader whose job it is to encourage team work and make everyone feel like they belong. That of course doesn’t mean that team members shouldn’t contribute, on the contrary. Managers can do initiative after initiative for improving the work ethic of employees, but nothing can replace the genuine desire to improve your own ethic. It’s worth it too, as it makes the foundation for a strong reputation of professionalism, something that’s invaluable throughout a career.