Work ethics include not only how one feels about their job, career or vocation, but also how one does his/her job or responsibilities. This involves attitude, behavior, respect, communication, and interaction; how one gets along with others. Work ethics demonstrate many things about whom and how a person is. How does our attitude, values and behaviors influence our ability to survive or/and progress in our various work environments as girls or women. As girls and women we are aware of the unique challenges we face depending on where one might be. Being cognizant of these challenges is very important as these challenges therefore, prepare us to be ready and committed to succeed regardless of how harshly or differently they manifest in the lives of different girls and women some of the determining factors might manifest differently as may be affected by race, age, level of education, place of residence etc.
To elaborate this further, I will use five core areas as presented by Small Business Chronicles (see link below)
Integrity stretches to all aspects of an employee's job. An employee with integrity fosters trusting relationships with clients, coworkers and supervisors. Coworkers value the employee's ability to give honest feedback. Clients trust the employee's advice. Supervisors rely on the employee's high moral standards, trusting him not to steal from the company or create problems.
Caution for women: As women we need to be keenly aware of how integrity plays in the work place, more often than not honesty will come at a price. It is therefore of great significance that we are able to match our honesty with evidence of facts and use these as our points of divergence with dishonest people or to assert our positions. Often times women’s good will and honesty has been undermined by the inability to assertively firm a view point. It is not unusual in some instances that unscrupulous people seize this opportunity to ridicule or assert superiority over unassuming and well-meaning women who at the end are demoralized and begin to lose their confidence in being that worker with integrity.
2.Sense of Responsibility
A strong sense of responsibility affects how an employee works and the amount of work she does. When the employee feels personally responsible for her job performance, she shows up on time, puts in her best effort and completes projects to the best of her ability.
Caution for women:Asense of responsibility comes with fulfilment in one’s job and usually is a result of hard work that is probably accompanied with recognition. However, getting to this point for many women is an uphill task if one works in an unsupportive environment. To attain this sense of responsibility, it might require that you set targets for yourself and celebrate accomplishments of those targets. That one is able to assess their own performance and quantify their contribution, well conscious of a need for humility with the knowledge that other team members contribute to that success or failure for that matter. Inability to set targets and have a sense of how much one has accomplished breeds a feeling of doubt and discontent when confronted by competition which is quite common in a work environment that is not supportive of its human resource
3.Emphasis on Quality
Some employees do only the bare minimum, just enough to keep their job intact. Employees with a strong work ethic care about the quality of their work. They do their best to produce great work, not merely churn out what is needed. The employee's commitment to quality improves the company's overall quality.
Caution for women: Remember mediocrity is never an option in the work place especially for women who after as short as two years in employment begin to realize that to get recognized you will need to work doubly harder than men in some cases, persistence, consistency and hard work should always be a guiding slate for women. No matter how sluggish and unsupportive a work environment is, the key to success is not to work for your boss but to accomplish your tasks to the best of your ability. Being destructed and underperforming for a women enables other people assert their stereotypes about women and it stifles ambition and growth. Well aware of some limitations e.g. unavoidable absence from work due to child care needs, maternity leave etc. developing a strong culture of delivering good quality work enables one sustain their job. Your absence is therefore recognized in positive light rather than forgotten. Your peers and juniors will be your greatest fans and cheer leaders because they recognize your hard work and it speaks for itself, no boss will ever have the power to fire you inappropriately.
It takes a certain level of commitment to finish your tasks every day. An employee with good discipline stays focused on his goals and is determined to complete his assignments. These employees show a high level of dedication to the company, always ensuring they do their part.
Caution for women: Discipline for women will start from being organized, knowing how busy a woman’s schedule can be especially if children are involved, your best bet is to be organized. Being able to set realistic goals and achieve them consistently will be a total bail out. If one wants to be competitive enough in the job market as you nature ambitions for growth, it is imperative that you maintain a sense of consistency and (predictability depending on your job type) in more cases than not, supervisors want to build a sense of confidence in their line reports. If one is consistent hence is predictable, they can easily be trusted because they keep their word. Being enigmatic might work in some jobs but not in the regular jobs.
5.Sense of Teamwork
Most employees have to work together to meet a company's objectives. An employee with a high sense of teamwork helps a team meet its goals and deliver quality work. These employees respect their peers and help where they can, making collaborations go smoother.
Caution for women: Being a well-organized, honest, disciplined and hardworking employee who prides herself in her own brilliance and achievements is one of the major let downs for women. Being isolated form the rest of the team can always happen unintentionally. Being impatient with slow team members or being too organized not to want to be derailed from focusing on your goal and moving fast ahead alone can bread dislike among colleagues, it is always important to involve and support as many people around you as possible. In many companies and organizations these days, there is a high segregation of duty brought about by high levels of specialization but also a need for efficiency and effectiveness, this implies that no matter how hard you work, your single input will not be valuable unless the others also accomplish their bits. It is therefore important to support them so to move at your pass so that a given task is accomplished by a team.
Finally I will add 6.Networking, for years women all over the world have been have been short-changed by the inability to freely network. Social media including World Pulse is making it much easier for women to network. This is a very important skill that women need, to progress and succeed at work, in business and more or less anywhere.
1. But how do women network without being judged?When the majority of CEOs, Presidents/heads of organizations etc. are mostly men?
2. How do married women, single women, dating women network with men, without being misunderstood considering that most of the networking might happen in social settings, on weekends or in the evenings. Whichever category of woman you are, you will notice that the levels of risk, type of judgment may be different but equally harsh?
I leave you to ponder on these questions!