Ethics are very personal and subjective. It is likely in the workplace you may find some variables in ethical makeup in different people.
Despite a degree of difference in ethical perspectives, in the work environment there is typically a general agreement of what is ethical behavior and what is not.
In today's age this may be hard to believe when most of what you see is headlines that shout out "Corruption", "Mismanagement of Finances", "Environmental Hazards" and other captions that report the misdoings in the corporate environment.
When you see a constant stream of reports of how companies like the Enrons of the world abuse systems and take advantage of people, it makes it hard to believe the presence of a good work ethic still even exists.
Fortunately this is likely not the truth since headlines like to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Today's business environment is a competitive one and companies that have a low focus on good ethical policy are likely to find themselves in financial trouble over the long term.
Good ethics starts with the individual, but it also is broader and relates to how an organizational ethics philosophy is defined. Even though the company who is immersed in poor ethics takes the fall, these organizations are made up of decision making individuals. Each person's moral compass impacts the overall success, or failure, of the company.
Individuals possessing a strong work ethic not only benefit society or the business, it benefits the individual too. There are many advantages to maintaining a solid work ethic as you go about your workday.
When you act with strong moral conduct you establish a great reputation for yourself which also reflects on your company as well. Once you've become known as someone who is ethical, people will want to do business or work with you.
Another key advantage to acting with strong moral fiber is you establish trust and credibility with colleagues, bosses and customers. People will pay attention when you talk or present ideas because you're known as someone who gives careful thought to consequences of actions and as a result makes good decisions.
While people who are led by the financial carrots that leads to unethical behavior may find themselves getting lucrative rewards, more often than not this is short term.
Eventually these poor judgments will catch up with them and it will be time to pay the piper. Temptation may be strong, but the long term benefits of maintaining good ethical posture far outweighs the short term benefits of acting dishonestly or unethical.
When you possess a good work ethic you can sleep well at night with a clear conscience. So maybe you did lose that deal, but at least you know you didn't contribute to polluting your local environment or bilk someone out of their retirement money. The intrinsic rewards of a good moral being are priceless.
Possessing a good work ethic is vital and in today's competitive workplaces, having a strong ethical commitment to your work practices has become more important than ever. Once you become known as the employee or company that doesn't take social responsibility or ethics seriously, your customers will move onto a competitor they can trust.