Back in 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart coined the expression “I know it when I see it” to describe his threshold test for pornography. I was reminded of the phrase recently (not in a conversation about porn) but in a discussion about work ethic. When asked to define work ethic, the person said, “I don’t know if I can describe it but I know it when I see it.”
Work ethic is an important subject. Companies want to hire people with a good work ethic. I’ve never seen an employment ad indicating the company requires a mediocre or poor work ethic. When managers tell me what kind of employees they want working at their organization, excellent work ethic always comes up.
But when I ask for a definition or specific examples of work ethic, I don’t get anything tangible.
My friend Eric Chester recently released a book titled “Reviving Work Ethic” to start a deeper discussion about the term and how to instill a work ethic into the workplace.
That’s why I hope you’ll join me (@Sharlyn_Lauby), Eric Chester (@Eric_Chester) and @WeKnowNext at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 31 for a #Nextchat discussion about work ethic. We want to know your thoughts on the following questions:
Q1. How do you define work ethic?
Q2. Do you see differences in work ethic among the different generations in the workplace or is it an individual trait?
Q3. How can a recruiter discern good work ethic in a candidate? What questions can they ask?
Q4. How can a candidate convince a recruiter they have a good work ethic?
Q5. Is there a connection between attitude and work ethic? Why or why not?
Q6. Should organizations consider training employees to have a better work ethic?