Ethical work habits are an integral part of the lives of many employees and students. The exact definition of “good” work ethics is subjective, but many people consider certain characteristics as ethical and others as unethical. Good work ethics often inspire others to act in similar ways.


Commitment and dedication to work can be considered a good work ethic. Workers show commitment by being punctual, present and attentive. A worker could show commitment by working overtime when needed or by showing company loyalty. Workers show lack of commitment when they are late, absent or distracted while performing job duties.


Many people consider efficient production a hallmark of good work ethics. Productivity doesn’t have to mean a huge output; it could mean consistent quality yield as well. Productive workers strive to complete objectives on time and deliver excellent products. An unproductive worker may waste time and other resources and otherwise not live up to her full potential.


The ability to persist and face challenges is a good work ethic know as perseverance. Perseverance can simply mean having a positive attitude every day. It could also mean having the courage to continue working through professional or personal hardship. Workers who are impatient or who give up easily show lack of perseverance.


Organized workers are able to structure both their physical environment and their time. Organization is a skill than many people consider part of good work ethics. Workers show that they’re organized when they plan and coordinate job duties. Good workers often use organizational techniques to help them handle stress, both on and off the job. Proper planning helps workers be flexible when challenged with sudden changes. Disorganized workers mismanage time, have disorderly work spaces and often fail to make contingency plans.


Creativity doesn't necessarily mean proficiency in art or writing; it can mean finding alternate ways to approach work, combining work with hobbies or enjoyable activities or discovering ways to make work more worthwhile. Creativity is seen as a good work ethic because creative workers help businesses innovate and invent. Workers show a lack of creativity when they fail to share their ideas or present ideas that are plagiarized or unoriginal.


Appropriate, positive and consistent communication is another good work ethic. Acceptable communication can be both verbal (listening, body language, eye contact) and nonverbal (phone and email etiquette, proper grammar). Good communication dictates that relevant information be revealed as soon as possible to the applicable parties. Poor communication might be improperly formatted, untimely, unresponsive or irrelevant.


Respect is a work ethic shown through positive interaction with co-workers, management and customers. Respectful individuals are tolerant of people’s differences and understanding of conflicting points of view. Workers show disrespect when they are intolerant of diversity, rude to others or argumentative.


People who exemplify outstanding work ethics are often looked upon as leaders, regardless whether they hold an official leadership position. Leadership skills include problem solving, conflict management and mentoring. Positive leaders take care to constantly show good work ethics.