Thursday, October 3, 2013

Work Ethic, When Did It Change?

Since entering the work force at age fourteen; even then I thought hard work and effort was the way to go. I had a part-time job after school. I wanted to be able to save money for a car and spending money to go out with my friends. I was of the mindset that if I was productive and efficient at my job I would get more hours and be able to make more money. It's those "old school" values that I carry with me today. I've been in the business world for over twenty years now and I cringe when I think of what has happened to the work ethic of our society. For years now, it has been out of control on a downward spiral. From my perspective, some employees are doing as little as possible just to keep their job. The days of working an actual 8 hour day or staying until the task at hand is completed are long gone. Being in the office for 8 hours doesn't signify working for 8 hours. There are so many distractions in today's workplace, cell phones, free reign of the internet and plain of lack of respect and caring. What are we teaching our young people entering the workforce; to put their needs before that of the company? When you're on "company time" focus on why you're there, not what you'll be doing after hours. As mature business people, we need to step it up, show pride in our work and stop taking responsibilities lightly; for the sake of your future and the future of young people.

 Definition: Work Ethic (n) a set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence.

It doesn't matter what generation you belong to, there's this thing called work ethic-making a commitment, doing what you say you'll do. Being responsible and accountable is not about whether it's convenient or not. It's not that the younger generations have no "work ethic" rather they have "a self-centered" work ethic. The younger generations haven't been raised in a way that necessitates them to look around and see what should be done next.

There's a substantial difference between completing your task well and completing it on time. The challenge is completing a job well within the time necessary, budget requirements and other obstacles of a team. Remember, it's not about you; it's about your client, your co-workers and your boss. The world of business doesn't operate on what's convenient for you and what fits into your agenda and your particular expectation. That ideology is why there is no such thing as customer service anymore and why mediocrity is becoming the "norm".

If you have any regard for doing an assignment well and being successful in your work, quit making excuses for coming up short. Rather, learn what dedication, commitment and accountability mean. Employers say they worry that a generation with a self-centered work ethic that's "all about what's good for me" and "what's convenient", is simply not good for business.

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."- Vince Lombardi