What factors demonstrate a strong work ethic?
If an employee has a productive approach to their role, they’ll often require far less management over projects. You
might also hand them major tasks to complete. Or pick them for in-house promotions.
And what is good work ethic? You can expect certain traits from these employees. These include:
Professionalism: From following a dress code to always arriving on time, professionalism is essential to a
Productivity: With excellent organization skills and the ability to complete work within a schedule, productivity
shows that an employee fully commits to their work.
Teamwork: A big part of working in a business is collaborating with colleagues. If employees get on well with your
other staff members, they’re likely to have a solid work ethic. It’s not a given, but it’s a good sign if an employee
is a team player.
Determination: Whether it’s a task or issue that needs resolving, an employee with show initiative and skill to see
out the task to the end.
High-quality work: All of the above, and natural talent, add together to deliver high standards of work for your
How to improve work ethic
If you want to build on your current business outlook, or improve disappointing current standards, how do you go
about it? If your employees aren’t giving 100%, are making niggling errors that add up, or lack efficiency, then you
suffer as a business. But there isn’t an overnight fix. How to improve employee work ethic depends on the outlook
of your business.
You also need to consider what does strong work ethic mean for your employees?
Because if you’re willing to support your staff correctly, then the rewards are there for the taking. You benefit from
staff putting more effort to engage with your business.
And employees benefit from learning new skills, taking interest in their role, and enjoying contributing to your
A process of development helps to encourage your staff members. Some of the techniques you can use are as
Set an example: Your managers provide authority at work. Make sure they know you expect high standards from
them and how their influence reaches your employees. Skilled managers can help staff members grow personally
and professionally, so utilize this opportunity to its full.
Set milestones: Rather than handing over seemingly vast projects, break them down into manageable tasks. If
there are clear targets for employees to reach, rather than impossible sounding workloads, they’re likely to be far
more committed to their work.
Have a recognition system: “Employee of the Month” is a bit old hat these days, but perks or bonuses for reaching
KPIs is a strong way to encourage your staff to keep on refining their performance.
Offer training: If you provide on the job training or professional development courses to your staff, this can grow
their confidence and skill set. The result? More productive employees fresh from their empowering training.
Refine your recruitment strategy: You can look for problematic job candidates to ensure you don’t hire employees
with poor work ethic. Securing job references from former employees is one option—this will help you understand
more about their approach with day-to-day work.
Organization work ethics
As a business, you can also look to set the standard for your employees. Not just with your managers, but higher
management as well right to the CEO.
You can do this in various ways. Measuring your ethics against other businesses is a good start. Look to a business
you admire and the standards it sets—cherry pick the elements you want to see in your business, adapt them, and
put them into practice.
It’s difficult to judge yourself against others. You need bravery to take an honest look at your infrastructure.
But if you’re able to find flows, or better processes, then they’re well worth pursuing for the greater good.
Having a background in Human Resources, in an organization – you understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’
approach when dealing with people in the workplace. Your organization has come up with a plan to develop
employees to have a standard work ethic that they have constructed as the prototype of what will work in the
organization. As an HR practitioner, you know that standardizing everyone to work in the same way will be almost
You are required to present an argument using the individual behavior framework. Explicate the factors that
influence individual behavior and provide a motivation for the selection of a customized development
programme, as opposed to a generic development program. (30 Marks)
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