Character or personal traits goes hand in hand with work ethics and can easily distinguish you from your workmates. The Josephson Institute's "Six Pillars of Character" are what form the ground rules of ethics. Character can make a difference between achieving your professional goals and not, because employers often consider character when making decisions to hire, promote, or downsize.
Being responsible means you follow instruction and understand your work: you are loyal, accountable and strive to improve your abilities so you can perform better at work. You fulfill your obligations without supervision and manage your time properly, therefore not wasting the organization’s time and resources.
Fairness involves impartiality, openness, equality and following due process; that is, being just without showing any favoritism or prejudice. You strictly play by the rules, ignoring your own personal feelings, interest, opinion or dislike, and avoiding taking undue advantage of the weak and ignorant. For example, during promotions, you select individuals based on their performance rather than friendship.
Trustworthy means "worthy of trust." This is a characteristic that becomes evident only over time: you are honest, reliable and act with integrity, and you finish your work on time and without any delay. You are loyal and can be trusted with confidential information about the organization.
Work ethics require that you relate well with your coworkers, a quality that's more possible when you are caring. You are sensitive to others' feelings and circumstances, you take your time to assist your coworkers and you strive always strive to maintain harmony within your group. When you are caring, you cause no unnecessary harm and have a positive attitude toward everyone.
In the workplace context, respect means treating others courteously and with humanity regardless of their position in the organization. Think the Golden Rule. Accepting and respecting others will avoid any unnecessary conflict in the workplace.
Good citizenship means being involved in and committed to your organization and obeying its rules. You keep well informed about current issues affecting your company, and are prepared to give more than you are receiving. Your hard work to improve the organization is oriented not just toward the present, but the future as well.
- Personal Development for Life and Work: L. Ann Masters et al.
- Josephson Institute: Six Pillars of Character
- OK Career Tech: Career Activity File - Work Ethics and Career Clusters
- Business Ethics: An Indian Perspective: A. C. Fernando
- Josephson Institute: Making Ethical Decisions: The Six Pillars of Character
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