Five Characteristics of Having Good Work Ethics

by Lisa Finn

When you have a good work ethic, you are dedicated to job that you deem valuable. You hold yourself to high standards of responsibility. You also keep yourself accountable for getting work done right and on time, and for making good business decisions that help people and companies succeed. Having a solid work ethic means you understand that productivity, organizational skills, being reliable and possessing good character are all attributes that successful people share.


Stealing personal property, sabotaging a coworker's client presentation, or taking someone's idea and making it your own are all ways that dishonesty creeps into the workplace. Employees with strong ethics refrain from lying or cheating to make others look bad in the hopes of making themselves appear smarter. Instead, they take responsibility for mistakes, own up to failures and keep the lines of communication open with everyone involved.

Refrains From Gossip

Workplace gossip can be destructive. When employees gossip about their peers, bosses or even clients, it's considered deviant behavior. An employee with good workplace ethics refuses to engage in gossip or even listen it. This person will encourage others to mind their own business, or else address the person or situation head-on so that assumptions and badmouthing can stop. Doing so helps eliminate resentment among coworkers and helps keep morale up.

Values Diversity

People with a good work ethic understand the importance of a diverse workplace. When you value everybody's contributions -- regardless of ability, age, gender or race -- it allows for more creativity and better problem solving. Diversity in the workplace contributes to successful client interactions. Overall, employee morale is higher.

Respects Others

An employee with a strong work ethic is rarely late. You respect everyone's time, from coworkers to clients to interviewees. You're also polite, conscientious of people's feelings and considerate of workers in a shared workspace. In addition, someone with a strong work ethic uses time wisely so that deadlines are met. You'll keep personal phone conversations quiet and not disrupt others. Out of respect, you'll also hear and consider everyone's opinions.


Having a good work ethic means you cooperate with others. While work may not always be satisfying or enjoyable, you see the bigger picture and do what is necessary for the team and company. Instead of debating every issue and finding reasons why things can't get done, you use strong conflict resolution skills to solve problems and manage the workload.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.

Photo Credits

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