‘Work ethic’ refers to your values and principles related to how you work. Your work ethic covers a range of behaviors, attitudes, and more. Employees with a strong work ethic are often more highly valued due to the amount of output they can produce.
As one’s work ethic has a strong correlation with productivity in the workplace, it is a skill many managers would like their staff to develop. This can be done with some encouragement, but the employee must also be given some assistance. Creating some definable goals, for instance, can be a good place to start.
The ways in which your work ethic impact your work environment is crucial because it can make or break your career. When someone is enjoying their work and respects the workplace, they will generally produce more output. They use their time well and perform better and overall have a good work ethic.
On the other hand, there are people who don’t use their time well. If you have some staff who aren’t giving it their all, this can have negative impacts on your business. You can’t rectify these issues overnight, it takes time.
Deciding how to develop a strong work ethic in your staff requires some careful consideration. Here in this article created by our team at Trafft, we have compiled a list of the best tips to promote a good work ethic.
What’s the Definition of a Strong Work Ethic?
A good place to begin is by answering the question ‘what is a good work ethic in your organization?’ This should be done in conjunction with other leaders in the business so you all have an agreement.
What constitutes a strong work ethic will vary from business to business. It depends on what your services are, as well as which business model you use. In customer service businesses, punctuality may be crucial so that you are there when the customers are. In other industries, this may be less important. In some offices, it is fine to show up whenever you like,as long as you complete all your work.
It will also vary across cultures. In some cultures, you must be at your desk for 12+ hours a day to be considered productive. However, this is not the case in all countries.
Ethics is more correlated to the culture of your business than anything else. It is the reality of your organizational values and beliefs in practice. Your business’ ethics will be affected by your position on bullying, gender inequality, and more. The lowest standard of behavior that you will accept is what will be allowable in your business. That’s why if you want a successful and thriving company, you need to create high standards. Lead by example and exemplify these yourself.
Many employees leave great jobs simply because of the culture of the organization. They may feel constant push back to their fresh ideas or feel frustrated that many others arrive late while they are always on time. Whatever it is, it is most likely to do with the workplace ethics that your company upholds, and the values and ethics of others.
After you have set out exactly what good work ethics looks like to your company, you can communicate this to your team. When it is not communicated, you cannot expect others to follow it.
Without specific goals to meet, staff may find it harder to get their work done. When they are aware of the goals and higher purpose of the company, their work ethic may strengthen. Explain to them how what they do helps to fulfill organizational outcomes. As a manager, you should detail the objectives and goals of each project before they start working on it.
Any goals should have these characteristics:
- Measurable and attainable time frame
- Challenging but achievable
- Fully understood and accepted by the team
Goal setting is critical to organizational success. By following the guide below, you can implement a fantastic goal-setting process in your business. From this, you may discover the following benefits:
- Individuals are motivated and drive teams towards a common purpose
- Goals offer a target with measurable attributes that allow you to find out how projects are tracking along the way
- Goals align team members with the company’s strategy to ensure work is fulfilled
Creating a Fantastic Environment for a Strong Work Ethic
If you expect your employees to have a good work ethic, you need to create the right environment for this. Employees need to feel safe and comfortable in their workspace. While this may not seem difficult, you would be surprised how often employees are disturbed by constant issues. These could include flickering lights, too cold or hot temperatures, or even the kitchen running out of coffee. When you don’t make sure the basics are right for your staff, this shows a lack of care. This can cause employees to become disengaged and less productive.
Want to know how to improve work ethic? Make it about your team, not the company. You can increase engagement and output by making it easy for employees to do their work. Connecting their professional with their personal goals will also help tremendously with strong work ethics.
Incentivize Hard Work
For people to keep having a great work ethic, they need to be rewarded.It’s hard to keep it up if you feel like no one notices or cares that you are putting a lot of effort into your work. Not all people are motivated by personal pride in their work.
By creating rewards for your staff, you will make sure that they know you appreciate their hard work and good work ethic.
The reward does not have to be financial. While having an employee of the month may be outdated, extra leave is always appreciated. Or give them the afternoon off when they have just finished a huge project.
Set the Standard
If you want others to have good work ethics, they need to see you, their leader, have a good work ethic of your own. All managers should be leading from the front to set a good example. Staff will often copy the behavior of those in authority positions. If managers are coming in late or not completing work, then others are likely to do this too.
Managers must be authority figures. This requires them to set the high standards expected in the organization. As they are so influential, this has the potential to turn around any disengaged employees.
Set the benchmark of behavior and you can hope to see your team follow suit. A code of ethics and conduct may help, but most people won’t bother reading that. What they see others doing is far more likely to influence their behavior.
Procrastination has no definable cause. However, potential reasons for procrastination can be stress, laziness, or simply no motivation to work. People may also procrastinate because they aren’t good at managing their time or aren’t good at what they do.
When you’ve learnt how to develop a strong work ethic, you won’t have time to procrastinate.
Learn to control procrastination by putting work into three categories:
- Must do
- Should do
- Nice to do
Understanding the difference between these three categories is important. This will enable you to effectively prioritize your work. Always start with the items under ‘must do’ no matter if you feel like doing them or not.
Get your team on board with this process and get them to define their work in the same way. At first, it may be hard to get them to do it, but they will get used to it over time. You will be amazed by how much more your team gets done with this simple method!
What Factors Demonstrate a Strong Work Ethic?
Work ethic is critical because you want your employees to get their work completed. But what are the characteristics of a good work ethic? You can expect to see some particular traits, such as these in someone with a strong worth ethic:
- Integrity: integrity can be defined as doing the right thing even when no one is looking. That means that even if no one is in the office to catch them, they will still be hard at work. This creates trust.
- Professional: this includes everything from working their expected hours to remaining polite in tough circumstances.
- Determined: regardless of what needs doing and how hard it is, this person will get it done every time. It may take some problem solving but with a bit of initiative, they’ll get there.
- Teamwork: they must commit to showing up for the rest of the team. That includes finishing all work and helping others when they need it.
- Responsible: this can have dramatic effects on your staff’s work output.
Someone with very a very weak work ethic can hugely impact those they work with. When you don’t care about work, and have a weak work ethic, others end up having to fix your mistakes and pick up your slack. Don’t be that person. Now that you have found out how to develop a strong work ethic, go forth and strengthen it!
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