Checklist for Establishing an Ideal Work Ethic: A Guest Post

This is a Guest Post written by Sam Peters, a blogger who often writes for HR and Career sites. Today he writes on a checklist for establishing and ideal work ethic.
While the recipe for creating the perfect work environment is different from company to company, there are certain aspects of establishing workplace ethics that should never be ignored. These pillars of company culture are what will prop up a successful business, and a failure to take the time to respect their importance will be what leads to its internal struggles. It takes more than posting a list of rules on the work phone bulletin board to make it clear to employees that a certain sort of behavior is expected, and more than a pat on the back to keep them motivated.
Before you make any attempts to initiate a worthy work ethic among your staff, run down this list of must-dos:
Assign every individual responsibility to an individual
On the whole, people are pretty good at doing what they are told. The problem is that not everyone is able or willing to take on a responsibility that was not assigned to them. Either they don’t want to screw something up, or they don’t feel like they should have to do what isn’t their “job.” Ensure every responsibility is assigned to someone. Make your employees aware that neither insecurity nor indifference is welcome in the workplace.
Explain changes
Things change within a business structure, especially if it’s a young enterprise. Employees that are told to do things differently, or asked to carry additional burdens, should always be notified as to why. While certain facts about upper management decisions aren’t always something base-level employees need to be aware of, some sort of explanation for change should always be provided. Otherwise, confusion and upset will reduce motivation and productivity.
Exemplify your expectations
If you want your employees to behave and perform in a certain way, the easiest way to instill it in them is by demonstrating these qualities yourself. This should be a given, and something you are already doing. It’s incredibly important to avoid double standards in the workplace. But more importantly, setting an example is certain to leave a positive impression on your workers, more so than saying one thing and doing another.
Admit mistakes
This is a tough one for everybody, especially those in a position of authority. But when it’s clear that a management mistake has been made, be willing to be open about it. While it’s not smart to dwell on the issue and/or over-apologize, it’s important to make sure your employees know that you have the capacity to own up to your own bad decisions. It will encourage them to be more open about their mistakes instead of attempting to deny or conceal them. Again, setting an example goes a long way.
Pay a fair wage
As employers we ought to know by now that while company loyalty is important, workers are ultimately in it for the money. If the money is good, the work is good. Have you made sure that your employees are being paid enough? While handing out raises is far easier said than done, quickly consulting a cost-of-living calculator or some other method of independently evaluating the pay expectations of a particular profession or the earnings requirements of a specific region is something that should never be neglected.
The perfect work environment is an eternally elusive object of desire for most employers, but it can be nearly established by setting down the necessary foundations for a strong workplace ethic. Making sure your employees know their responsibilities and stay motivated is key to ensuring that they do their job to the best of their abilities. As employers aspiring for perfection, we couldn’t ask for anything more.

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