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Work Ethic Initiatives

The Importance of a Good Work Ethic

Employees with a good strong work ethic are critical to the success of a business. One of the key factors employers look for when hiring  new employees is a good work ethic… it can be as important if not more important than experience or education.

What is a Good Work Ethic?

There’s a variety of factors that make up a good work ethic including:


Does the employee do things just because they need to be done rather than waiting to be told to do it?


Does he do what he says he is going to?


Can you trust him?


Does he blame others or take responsibility for his actions?


Does he take pride in her work or just do enough to get by?


Does he respect others and can others respect him?


Can he work with others and get the job done.

And finally…


Does he possess leadership qualities and are others willing to follow his lead?


An exceptionally good work ethic can even take an entry level employee making less than $30,000 per year to full partner in less than three years as we will see…


Knowing what good work ethics are is important but the question is…

Can Good Work Ethics Be Taught?

Is it possible to teach good work ethics? According to business author and multi-millionaire Michael Masterson, in an article entitled Do You Think Managing Is a Waste of Time? one of the top three employment mistakes an entrepreneur can make is waiting too long to fire someone. Some people believe that good work ethics like honesty can’t be taught and that it all boils down to motivation. If an employee is properly motivated he will naturally have good work ethics.

Motivation may be a factor but many schools have realized that a lack of a good work ethics may just be ignorance as well. Some schools like Wabash City Schools in Wabash Indiana have started their own work ethic initiative with a “Work Ethic Certification” program. Michael Masterson believes that one of the major keys to success is to become motivated to Become Your Company’s Most Valuable Employee. And if you do that within six months:

  • Your income will increase dramatically.
  • Your job satisfaction will skyrocket. (You’ll love coming to work!)
  • Opportunities for career advancement will start flowing to you.
  • Your boss and coworkers will start treating you as someone special — with admiration and respect.
  • Your sense of job security will soar, knowing that you will never, ever be fired.

Masterson gives the following example:

RM made her way from a beginning employee making less than $30,000 to a partner in the business making six figures. She did it in less than three years.

How to Create a Work Ethic Initiative

The typical work ethic initiative may be as simple as encouraging your employees to be on time and show respect to your customers. It is often taught through stories of company culture. Zappos (the online shoe retailer) is known for its company culture of going beyond the call of duty to serve the customer. They require all new employees to take a Zapos company history class which uses informal stories to help ingrain the company culture and desired work ethic. Other companies may teach work ethics through a formal class or one-on-one mentoring.

Making Work Ethic Initiatives Work

In order to have a successful work ethics initiative, the company has to consider it a priority and be willing to invest time and resources into the program. A good program should demonstrate the company’s core values, “this is the way we do things around here.” Managers are front line role models. A good manager sets the example and teaches ethics at the ground floor level. According to Global Ethics University, deliverables in the area of ethics training might include “codes of conduct, policies, rules, values statement and procedures” these can be delivered verbally and via manuals, web pages, or newsletters.

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+