Work Ethic

Work ethic is a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue or value to strengthen character and individual abilities.[1] It is a set of values centered on importance of work and manifested by determination or desire to work hard. Social engrailment of this value is considered to enhance character through hard work that is respective to an individual’s field of work

Factors of a good work ethic

Proponents of a strong work ethic consider it to be vital for achieving goals, that it gives strength to their orientation and the right mindset. A work ethic is a set of moral principles a person uses in their job. People who possess a strong work ethic embody certain principles that guide their work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently and the output motivates them to stay on track. A good work ethic fuels an individual’s needs and goals; it is related to the initiative by a person for the objectives. It is considered as a source of self-respect, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Factors are:

  1. Goal-oriented actions: It is not about making plans or the next logical steps; it’s about getting things done so that the work invested wouldn’t be counter-productive.
  2. Prioritized focus: Focusing on qualitative activities that a person is responsible for and in areas where they can make a difference or a high impact based on objectives.
  3. Being available and reliable: Spending time on the work and building oneself up for the task.
  4. Conscientiousness: A desire to do a task well, being vigilant and organized.
  5. Creating a rewarding routine/system: Engaging in tasks that provide strength and energy which can be transferred to your ultimate goals, creating a habit and a habitat for success.
  6. Embracing positivism: Shape a problem with the statement “good, (action) (problem)”, e.g. “I’m tired and it is time for a workout” leads to “Good. Workout tired”.

A negative work ethic is a behavior of a single individual or a group that has led to a systematic lack of productivity, reliability, accountability and a growing sphere of unprofessional/ unhealthy relationships (e.g., power politics, lack of social skills, etc.)


Assumptions about good work ethic is drawn out in philosophical writings of Goldman, they are:

  1. The path to what you want is to take action.
  2. The success of action plans depend upon how congruent one’s worldview (Weltanschauung) is with the society’s.
  3. Many problems faced are only a temporary breakdown of self-management.
  4. Setting time limits for achieving goals helps to overcome the edge of discomforts that time can have on subjective needs.
  5. A positive problem-solving or goal attainment experience improves one’s ability to cope with the next difficulty.
  6. Hardships in life is normality, they become a problem when they are the same over and over.
  7. A person is what s/he does, and feelings flow from behavior.
  8. Feelings can be viewed as beliefs about one’s wants.
  9. How hard you work will determine how far you go.
  10. In the 1970s, a good work ethic was considered as a lifestyle to meet unmet or unsatisfied wants by people.


But when can you describe your work ethic to be good and strong? Several authorities named key factors, and we’ll try to name all the elements that serve as a solid foundation for a strong work ethic.


Integrity should permeate every aspect of your job, from how you deal with your clients to how you treat your co-workers and your superiors. It means doing the right things, at all times, even if no one is watching, much less your boss. Its greatest impact is seen in your relationships with the people around you, which is why integrity is seen as one of the most important ingredients of Trust.

Emphasis on Quality of Work

If you show dedication and commitment to coming up with very good results in your work, then your work ethic will definitely shine. While some employees do only the barest minimum, or what is expected of them, there are those who go beyond that.

They do more, they perform better, and they definitely go the extra mile to come up with results that surpass expectations. Clearly, these employees are those who belong to the group with a solid work ethic.


The word “professionalism” is often seen as something that is too broad or wide in scope, covering everything from your appearance to how you conduct yourself in the presence of other people.

It is so broad and seemingly all-encompassing that many even go so far as to say that professionalism equates having a solid work ethic.


Work ethic is something that emanates from within. You can tell an employee to do this and that, be like this and like that, over and over, but if they do not have enough discipline to adhere to the rules and follow through with their performance, then there is no way that they can become the productive employees that the company wants. Discipline involves focus, dedication and determination on your part to do what you should.

Sense of Responsibility

The moment you became part of the organization and assigned tasks and duties, you have a responsibility that you must fulfill. If you have a strong work ethic, you will be concerned with ensuring that you are able to fulfill your duties and responsibilities. You will also feel inclined to do your best if you want to get the best results.

Sense of Teamwork

As an employee, you are part of an organization. You are simply one part of a whole, which means you have to work with other people. If you are unable to do so, this will put your work ethic into question.

Work ethic is also continuously shaped by relationships, specifically on how you are able to handle them in achieving goals, whether shared or individual.

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