What Does it Mean to Have a Strong Work Ethic?

by Charlie Gaston - Updated September 26, 2017

Professional behavior is born out of work ethics. To have a strong ethic, you must commit yourself to honesty, integrity and accountability. Such characteristics tell others they can count on you to perform consistently and at a high standard regardless of the situation. Work ethics apply at the office and at play.


When a person makes a commitment to do what is right and culturally acceptable, versus what is wrong and socially harmful, he is choosing to have a strong work ethic. Examples of strong work ethic include questioning and reporting questionable behavior, telling the truth no matter what the consequence may be, doing a job well done, valuing your work and acting with a sense of purpose.

Work Ethics at the Office

Work ethics involve how well you perform the duties of your job and how effectively you communicate with management and co-workers. In other words, work ethics involve how you respond to work-related situations and how you handle the day-to-day responsibilities of your job.

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Work Ethics Outside the Office

Work ethics also relate to sports. Having a strong work ethic as a team player means effectively communicating with team members, attending scheduled practices and games, following instructions and safety procedures, staying in good physical condition, and being an honest and dependable player in all situations.

Improving Work Ethics

To improve your work ethic, make work a high priority, arrive on time and give your employer or coach sufficient time to cover your shift if you must be absent or tardy. Other steps you can take include learning self-discipline, being respectful and cooperative, possessing a positive attitude, and staying well-organized.

About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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