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A strong work ethic

I have just returned from an enthralling, yet exhausting workshop held from Thursday afternoon until today. The Workshop was on Job-Creating Skills Development (held on a working olive farm-Goedgedacht)and drew inputs from many sectors.

There were about 20 people who participated in the event. Most of the group came from the >50 group, with 3 over 70 year olds.

We spent long and fruitful hours engaging in this vital topic. As example, we spent 14 hours on Friday in this engagement.

What impressed me was the strong work ethic displayed by the team as a whole, but also by those in their seventies. I think the event was successful on many counts, and one of the reasons was the willingness to display a strong work ethic.

That got me thinking about how small businesses can model this and in actual fact make it a differentiating strength.

Here is an interesting article on the Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic     (With thanks to Erin Schreiner)

While some individuals try to get by doing as little work as possible, others possess a dedication that leads them to give it their all every day. People who possess a strong work ethic embody certain principles that guide their work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently and without the prodding that some individuals require to stay on track.


Reliability goes hand in hand with a good work ethic. If individuals with a good work ethic say they are going to attend a work function or arrive at a certain time, they do, as they value punctuality. Individuals with a strong work ethic often want to appear dependable, showing their employers that they are workers to whom they can turn. Because of this, they put effort into portraying — and proving — this dependability by being reliable and performing consistently.


Those with a good work ethic are dedicated to their jobs and will do anything they can to ensure that they perform well. Often this dedication leads them to change jobs less frequently, as they become committed to the positions in which they work and are not eager to abandon these posts. They also often put in extra hours beyond what is expected, making it easy for their employers to see that they are workers who go beyond the rest of the workforce and truly dedicate themselves to their positions.


Because they work at a consistently fast pace, individuals with a good work ethic are often highly productive. They commonly get large amounts of work done more quickly than others who lack their work ethic, as they don’t quit until they’ve completed the tasks with which they were presented. This high level of productivity is also due, at least in part, to the fact that these individuals want to appear to be strong workers. The more productive they are, the more beneficial to the company they appear to those managing them.


Cooperative work can be highly beneficial in the business environment, something that individuals with a strong work ethic know well. Because they recognize the usefulness of cooperative practices — such as teamwork — they often put an extensive amount of effort into working well with others. These individuals commonly respect their bosses enough to work with any individuals with whom they are paired in a productive and polite manner, even if they do not enjoy working with the individuals in question.


Those with a good work ethic often also possess generally strong character. This means they are self-disciplined, pushing themselves to complete work tasks instead of requiring others to intervene. They are also often very honest and trustworthy, as they view these traits as befitting the high-quality employees they seek to become. To demonstrate their strong character, these workers embody these positive traits daily, likely distinguishing themselves from the rest.

It may be helpful to do a quick self-audit on your own work ethic; followed by an audit on the organization or enterprise you are a part of. Are these 5 characteristics present?

Building strong organizations



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