A few decades ago the traditional definition of having good work ethics meant being an honest, ethical, and trustworthy worker. Being a person of high integrity and having strong principles earned you the respect of your subordinates and the approval of your boss.
Work ethics in today’s corporate culture involves having strong moral values but also means showing up with a positive attitude, taking initiative, having positive relationships with your team, and not taking credit for their work. Demonstrating genuine work ethics at the office will help people perceive you in a positive light and propel you ahead in your career.
If you want to know how to build strong business work ethics, this article can help. Here are five tips to assess and strengthen your work ethics so that you will be perceived as a good employee and get the career advancement and job satisfaction you desire:
- Define your values. If you don’t already have an established set of values, think about what they could be for you. Perhaps you believe in complete transparency and being honest with your staff, or maybe happiness is more important to you than money. Define your values to help you carry out your vision and purpose in life and in the workplace. Ultimately your values reflect on how you treat people around you in the work environment. Embrace positive values to be perceived as a favorable employee.
- Get feedback. A good way to assess your work ethics is to ask for feedback. Don’t be apprehensive about asking your colleagues as well as those in management for feedback on your work ethics—how your attitude is towards others, how you perform as a team player, as a supervisor and more. Ask firm questions like, “Do I have difficulty asserting myself?” or “Am I overly critical?” Knowing the answers to these questions can help you grow both personally and professionally.
- Go the extra mile. The work environment has changed considerably. With the advent of emerging technologies and downsizing you find you have to take on many different roles than you were expected of before. Less staff taking on more responsibilities means that you now have to step out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile. Having good work ethics means being willing to take initiative and help those around you cope with extra responsibilities and changes in management.
- Determine your standards. When it comes to work ethics do you gossip at your company, complain about company policy at the water cooler, or blindly go with what others say? Or do you focus on the task at hand, taking on responsibility and risks and striving for more? Do you act the same way when you’re alone or does your behavior change when no one’s around? Ask yourself these questions to determine your standards; the higher they are the stronger your work ethics.
- Reflect on your day. Take a few moments to reflect on your day as you lie down to rest for the night. Ask yourself, “What three things did I do that were good today?” followed by, “What 3 things could I have done better?” This could mean patting a deserving employee on the back or a meeting that you could have handled better. Reflecting on your day gives you the opportunity to do better the next day and strengthen your work ethics as you go along.
It’s imperative to understand that even with influence and visibility, without having strong work ethics you won’t be perceived as someone who’s ready for a promotion or ready to get ahead. In fact, weak work ethics can actually damage your reputation, or worse, make you lose your job.
Managing and improving your reputation as a leader is not always easy. But you don’t need to go at it alone. Personal executive coaching delivered by a reputable executive coach can help you get ahead at work and realize your career goals and dreams.
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Copyright ©2005-2016 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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