How Important is Work Ethic?

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I looked up “work ethic” in the dictionary. I wanted to see if there was something new to learn about these two words that go so well together.

And what I found was a real delight:

“a belief that hard work is important for developing someone’s moral character”

That’s quite a definition: a belief that hard work is important for developing someone’s moral character.

I take this to mean that there are reasons to work beyond simply the need for income. I know when I put in a good day’s work and I’m productive, I feel better. My overall outlook is improved.

When folks work solely and only to receive a paycheck, their self-esteem is usually not very high. And just as important, their value to your team is also not so high.

On the other hand, those who do have a strong work ethic are people who will go the extra mile for your company because it’s just the right thing to do and they enjoy doing so. They will have a much higher sense of servicing your customers, helping out other staff and helping the company succeed.

How do you determine you’ve got someone in front of you with a strong work ethic?

Ask a very direct question of your applicants: “What is your concept of work?” When they ask you what you mean by that, elaborate with: “Is work something you have to do to make money, pay bills, etc., or is work something you enjoy? Do you look forward to coming to work every day or is it a grind for you? Somewhere in-between?”

Watch very carefully when they answer these questions. Do they answer them freely and easily or do the questions make them somewhat uncomfortable. Folks who like to work and recognize the importance of work will have no trouble telling you this.

All in all, your ideal hire is someone with a great work ethic. Look for it and you’ll get better at locating it ahead of time!



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