Picture this! You arrive work, do your job and speed your way home once it’s close of business. Or you muddle through the week, always looking forward to the weekend. The result? You produce mediocre work. You hardly get noticed by the top management and your clients or customers are not necessarily happy with your output.
You know that this cannot continue. Not anymore! There must come a time when you rev up your performance and start giving your best consistently. But that won’t be possible if you lack the work ethic to pull through.
A great work ethic is the fuel that powers your fulfilment at work and other areas of life. It is the highway to career growth, financial stability and freedom. What is work ethic anyway?
Work ethic is the set of attributes and values that manifest as hard work and diligence in any given endeavour. This set of values exalt the importance of hard work. It manifests as a determination to devote the level of work it takes to build something worthwhile.
These values include dedication, consistency, reliability, discipline, integrity, professionalism, responsibility and productivity.
Portraying these values in your career will ultimately increase your chances for success in life. It will make you employable and enable you to position yourself for greater opportunities.
Employers often consider employees with a strong work ethic for growth opportunities and other special projects because they are dedicated, disciplined and reliable. These five principles will enable you to build the right work ethic it takes to succeed at your game; whether you are in the corporate world or not.
1. Don’t Waste Company Resources
Perhaps the most waste-prone resource in any company is time. When you sit around the office or your home (if you work remotely) during office hours engaging in stuff that do not add to the overall growth of the company, you are wasting resources.
Employees with a strong work ethic are clear about their agenda for the day and they get straight to it before entertaining anything else. Putting your company first means doing your bit to add to its progress and not talking down on it or sabotaging its progress in any other way.
2. Avoid Workplace Gossip Like a Plague
The effects of gossip live long after those who spread it has gone. We know that office gossip is hard to ignore, right? By default, we are hungry for news.
We love to know the latest details beyond official memos and emails. We want to know what happened the other day at the office after all the other employees left for home. How the boss and the new intern are becoming fund of each other.
The triggers of office gossip are as numerous as covid-19 cases. They come in various sizes and forms. While it is great to keep your ears on the ground for unannounced opportunities, there is no glory in spreading and receiving gossip. Rather, invest that time in productive work that moves the needle.
3. Be Consistent
This goes without saying but how many employees fall short of this? Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle once said, “across professions, consistency is a direct product of a great work ethic.”
Being consistent means you show up every workday and deliver your best. On days when your humanity sets in, such as when you fall sick or emotionally drained, you have the confidence to tell your superiors why you may not be able to perform at your peak that day.
Your superiors and colleagues will take your complaint seriously because you have built a track record of hard work and superior delivery.
Consistency makes you trustworthy. It opens you up to opportunities you never knew existed. And it makes you a standard in the company.
4. Keep Your Workspace Clean
Does this matter? Absolutely!
Even though a clean workspace is not a prime determinant of your productivity, it leaves an impression on anyone who passes by your space. And you know that saying “perception is everything.”
There is no way people will take you seriously when your work table or space looks and smells like a garbage dump. The connection between a clean workspace and productivity has been established throughout literature. So we don’t have to go into all that in this article. But it suffices to say that a great work ethic will ultimately manifest in the way you treat your work environment.
5. Show Respect to Others and Yourself
You are not doing yourself or the company any favours by undermining other people and their contribution. There is no glory in putting someone else down just to feel on top.
The value of your professional life is in how you relate to those who work with you. Show respect in the way you talk, ask for help and discuss the contribution of your colleagues.
In the same vein, respect yourself. Set up healthy boundaries and stick to them. Don’t make yourself the dumping ground for the work others are unwilling to do. Say no when you have to never feel bad about it.
Be culturally sensitive enough to reject conflicting assignments in a way that is civil and respectful. If you don’t, you will plunge yourself into burnout and it will tell in your overall health.
In the end, a great work ethic is the product of many parts. These few will get you started on the right path. Which of these principles stands out for you? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.