Nowadays, people are paying more attention to work ethics than they did before. However, these have been functioning in society since a very long time. Today, some universities and dedicated organizations actually offer academic courses on this subject, but the overall concept has been present in society since time immemorial. The reason behind this is that as humans who live in a society and have civic education, we become sensitized to certain issues. However, a few issues and practices are still beyond acceptance. To control such issues, we have a certain code of conduct that employees (and organizations) are expected to follow.
Understanding Work Ethics
This term is very difficult to explain in just a couple of sentences. However, in simple words, work ethics are standard measures that control all functioning in a professional environment. This means, you are expected to (as an employee) be honest, sincere and diligent about the work you are assigned. The practices you opt for (to finish the work) should be 'clean', acceptable and should abide by concerned laws. On smaller grounds, you should be understanding, just and true towards other colleagues. As an employee, you should be perceived as hardworking, reliable, honest, diligent and worthy of the monetary compensation you receive.
Why are Work Ethics so Important?
The rewards you will be entitled to, for following all the ethics, will come to you gradually. As the years pass by and the employers know your credibility, they will make sure you get what you deserve. They will try their level best to retain employees like you. Let's try to understand how these ethics play such a vital role in your professional life!
✏ Monetary Returns
Work ethics also add to the goodwill you share in your organization. Goodwill has always been an asset, and this asset can help you in more ways than one. Like I've mentioned before, it gives you a reputation that you can be proud of and also bank on. Also, it increases your value as an employee and makes it easier for people to trust you. Let's see how this helps. Tomorrow if the company needs to send some employees abroad for a very beneficial project, they would want to send employees who are not only hardworking, but also those who they can trust. Then again, goodwill is a very important aspect for businesses too. A company's image greatly depends on the ethics its follows.
Following ethics in the workplace will also lead to personal development in many ways but one. You will work efficiently and diligently, becoming a good example of professionalism. Gradually you will be known by these personality traits. Your personal efficiency levels with respect to your work, will also keep on increasing with time. Eventually, you will be regarded as an efficient professional who is very sincere towards his/her work. Professionalism has its own benefits. You will also be more satisfied by completing your work perfectly. Your output will make you happy, making you love your work more.
Whether you're hardworking or not, isn't judged by the number of hours you work, but the quality of work you have to offer.
✏ Long Run Benefits
If you follow certain work ethics, you are bound to be a persevering and hardworking employee. Now check the cases in which this can help you. Suppose tomorrow, there are a few lay offs in your company, due to recession or economic depression, your employers would want to hold back employees like you. This way, you save your job in the long run. Also, most companies have an employee appreciation week once a year. It would be a great thing to see yourself as the contender for those rewards, isn't it? Next time there is a project that needs to be done perfectly, you'll be the first person the employer's will opt for.
✏ Monetary Rewards
If you live and work by certain work ethics, your work will certainly be the best. There will be times when you will exceed expectations, and set an example for others. For all the extra work you do, you will gain rewards in the forms of incentives, increments and bonuses. Similarly, all organizations offer benefits to employees who are fair and efficient in their work. Workplace ethics need to be followed by the owner too and if he/she does that, the employees will do the same. This will lead to more efficient work, more business and eventually more profits.
The Flip Side
Certain communities or people are of an opinion that following these ethics religiously is being submissive to the management, or simply the higher authorities. Some people also say that in spite of following all these ethics, the power to shape one's future (in the end) still depends on the boss (management, society, owners, etc.). A quote by André Gorz, a French philosopher, summarizes the contemporary perception of work ethics. He says, "The work ethic has become obsolete. It is no longer true that producing more means working more, or that producing more will lead to a better way of life."
Work ethics are important if you want to be known as a reliable employee/organization and one with a good track record. Now that these reasons have highlighted the importance of work ethics, you can very well understand how not following them might affect you. There is a reason why these ethics play such an important role in society and this reason can be understood in one word - responsibility. The work you undertake, the way you complete it and the results that you offer, are all going to be judged. Of course, only the best will survive the competition for the longest time.