Everyone always insists that they have a very strong work ethic - especially at job interviews; but do we really know what it means to have a strong work ethic? Is it really that simple for everyone to claim? All through the month of April (2014) BlueSense Group gave hints on our twitter account @bluesensegroup on how employees can improve work ethics. This article helps illustrate the term work ethics and how we can improve it. Work ethics is really about having the utmost self-discipline when it comes to work. It really entails working for the long-term good of the organisation and not for a month-to-month salary/wage. It really means looking at the big picture of your organisation and ensuring that your contribution as an employee counts. Let us now examine this in some detail.
#Work Ethics 101: Work like you own it: This is the first rule of a strong work ethic.If you owned the organisation you worked for, you would always be the first person at work and the last person to leave. You would contribute your all to the company. You would look at how your contributions affect the bottom-line (profit margins) of your organisation. You would tie your daily duties and roles to the organisation’s visions and goals (big picture) ensuring they are met. You would not have or attend to any side business to enrich yourself; but would focus all your skills, talents, strengths and goodwill to the organisation that you work with. In short – you will work for your employers like you owned the organisation. Before doing anything new, ask yourself – will this benefit the company or will it benefit me? If there is a conflict of interest resolve it by doing only what benefits the company. This is what having a strong work ethic entails. It is not always about who works the hardest – sometimes it is about who has the highest integrity.
#Work Ethics 102: “Ask not what your company can do for you – but what you can do for your company.” This restructured quote from J.F.K should be a mantra for all employees who aspire to have a strong work ethic. Rather than always complaining about how bad your organisation is or what your organisation is doing wrong, why not look for opportunities you can maximise to add value to your organisation…Go the extra mile in everything you do. It is very easy to complain, however takes a creative mind to look pass problems and come up with concrete applicable solutions that will benefit your organisation. Be solution orientated rather than problem orientated, It's a more creative mindset.
#Work Ethics 103: Feedback is the breakfast of champions. You cannot be an effective employee if you’re not improving on a day-to-day basis. Although there is a thin line between criticism and feedback as feedback is telling you how you did and how you can improve, whereas criticism is telling you – you did badly. So feedback is more like constructive criticism as it is easier to learn from. Welcome it and use it to your advantage to improve. In this same light, you should also accept criticism. It is a lot more difficult to handle and will take a lot more self-control and discipline to swallow but all the same it will help you improve. While I did my NYSC, I would periodically give my students (once a term) a feedback form to allow them tell me what I was doing wrong and possibly give me suggestions on how I could improve my lessons. Some of them blatantly criticised everything I did but that didn’t mean I ignored their criticism; I took it on the chin and learnt from it and each term I asked for feedback I consistently reduced my critics by 50% making me a more effective and efficient teacher in the process. The only way you can grow is by listening to constructive criticism - if you don't know what you're doing wrong, how are you ever going to improve?
#Work Ethics 104: Fatigue comes from not finishing a task; not from working too hard. Firstly before you start any project on your own, without your manager’s approval ask yourself two quick questions: i. Will this project help my company attain her long/short term goals & vision? ii. Is it the right time to start such a project or are there other more important tasks at hand to finish first. The reason to ask these self-searching questions is to ensure you are on the right track. Improving your contribution to your employer is good – but it is only acceptable if it is in line with the organisation’s goals and it has been effectively prioritised. Hence if you have pending projects on your desks – you should always tackle the ones with the closest deadlines first. If there are still more with deadlines over a month – then you can get rid of the easy to do tasks that are just cluttering your work environment.
Completing tasks gives your brain a sense of accomplishment and a higher sense of productivity. Incomplete tasks and projects on the other hand weighs down your mind and seriously hampers your productivity. For projects with over a month deadline, you should breakdown the project to daily bite size so you know how much you have to accomplish each day to meet the required deadline. Also give yourself some room for unexpected circumstances to avoid any unnecessary delays. So like our mothers told us as toddlers – finish your food. Make sure your desk is empty or near empty at the end of each workday; you will always walk into work with a smile the next morning ready to conquer the world.
For more tips like these follow us on twitter @bluesensegroup. Keep a strong work ethic. It really sets you apart from the rest and keeps you always in the right part for a promotion. Go the extra mile, it is always traffic free.