Work ethics are essentially moral principles that are applied to a business scenario, and like the moral virtues that facilitate personal growth, work ethics ensure your professional growth. Surveys, however, provide a grim picture – 52 percent of working professionals in India don’t enjoy their work. This disinterest seems to arise from the growing evidence that young professionals are more materialistic and therefore, less inclined towards virtues as past generations were.
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There is, however, a way around this problem. Work ethics are not vague concepts distant from materialistic needs. The most motivating reason to develop them is for the rewards they generate. These ethics keep you motivated, focused and determined – all the traits needed to excel professionally. Since your professional growth adds to the growth of a business, recognising and practising these work ethics will define your career's success. Here are some that you can cross off your checklist.
Reliability goes hand-in-hand with the ability to take on responsibility. Bearing a sense of responsibility will make you more willing to deliver what is asked of you. It is only when you are consistent in meeting such expectations that you become reliable. A reliable employee adds to the stability of a company. Moreover, being trusted with responsibility is an honourable badge to wear. It clears your path of professional growth within the company.
This is a trait that has been instilled in us (or has been tried to) since school. Punctuality always has, and always will, create a good impression. It shows a willingness to follow company rules and regulations which, as a result, projects the seriousness and respect you have for your work. More importantly, punctuality helps create a routine and instils the discipline needed to follow it. This improves your efficiency and therefore, also that of the company.
Being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions, whatever may be the outcome. It requires a sense of integrity, to speak up and say – “Yes, that was my fault” or “Yes, I had good reasons to make that decision.” If you’re able to do this, you can save your team and yourself a lot of time and energy as you can quickly learn from the ebb and flow of each situation, and move on to tackle new ones.
It is only a dedicated employee who contributes to the growth of a business. Because contribution is easily measured, it plays to your advantage to give it your all. When you dedicate yourself to your work, you will invariably strive for perfection and quality. You will not slack because delivering – and delivering well – will be of utmost importance. It is only when you’re dedicated that you will be willing to put in those extra hours of work, without which your growth as a professional and that of the company reaches a standstill.
A strong – and most often, false – sense of pride is the biggest obstacle for growth. Humility, on the other hand, will take you far, regardless of your position. You may be hard working, but broadcasting the worth of your contribution while disregarding that of others’ is a visible sign of disrespect. Appreciating the work of your colleagues or subordinates, taking time off to help them and being grateful for all the help you receive, are some ways to remain humane in the world of business that is so easily prone to callousness.
Cooperation comes easily to the humble because it requires one to be respectful of others’ opinions and suggestions. Taking a company forward is a team effort, and as long as there’s a team, there will be differences in opinions. Cooperation is usually synonymous with compromise because to neutralise differences in opinions, you will have to step down every once in a while. Only when you keep in mind the big picture – the growth of your company – will you be able to successfully cooperate with your team.
At the end of it all one needs to realise that a good work ethic needs maturity of character. Without this, there is no way anyone can find the strength in them to do what’s necessary, to exhibit professionalism. Consciously implementing and following good work ethics is possibly the only way to ensure constant growth.