Work Ethics

Written by Serena Berger
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Work ethics are a critical attribute of any good employee. Even a creative, talented, or pleasant employee can be a problem for your company if he or she does not have solid work ethics. If you have been having any problems in this realm, you may want to consider the aid of an outside firm or consultant with expertise in the area.

Assessing Work Ethics

First, you should do everything you can to determine an applicant's work ethics before ever extending a job offer. There are many ways of doing this, both direct and oblique. The easiest, of course, is contacting references. A previous boss or co-worker should be able to give you her assessment of your candidate's work ethic; this is not infallible, however, as part of the reason someone might be leaving an old job would be an unpleasant work environment in which she was not able to do her best.

Work ethics encompass everything from major theft to persistent lateness or fudged timesheets. Obviously, direct questioning is not likely to result in someone who plans to steal from you telling you so, but a series of inquiries on a specially designed questionnaire may elicit warning signs of problematic behaviors and attitudes. Employees who are fundamentally respectful and feel good about their jobs are most likely to display a work ethic that benefits the company.

Along those lines, there also things that you can do for established employees to help maintain positive work ethics. Team building, incentives, periodic surprise testing, and bonuses and rewards are all different ways to help get the best out of people in their jobs. The aid of an unbiased outside firm can help you figure out which of these are best suited to your managerial style as well as the needs of your employees and business.

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