Work Ethics Program
The number one priority of Georgia’s employers is to improve the work ethics of present and future employees. Nationally, as well as in Georgia, employers identify the area of work ethics as increasingly important for worker success. They express concern that a strong work ethic is increasingly difficult to find among employees and job applicants. This concern is evident in a recent survey of 150 human resource directors from some of the largest U.S. companies. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents ranked work ethics as the No. 1 necessary job skill, aside from the basic occupational skills needed to perform the job. Two statewide surveys of Georgia employers also identified interpersonal skills and positive attitudes toward work as among the most important qualifications in hiring workers (Occupational Research Group, 1996, 1997).
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 80 percent of workers who lose their jobs do so not because of lack of occupational skills, but because of poor work ethics. The magnitude of this issue mandates the immediate attention and response of technical educators. The mission of technical education is to provide business and industry with trained workers who possess both strong occupational skills and good work habits. Therefore, the Technical College System of Georgia designed a formal program to address poor work ethics. The program provides activities and knowledge needed to foster positive work habits.
Business and industry leaders have identified essential work ethics that should be taught and practiced in order to develop a viable and effective workforce.
The ten work ethics traits identified are listed below.
Attendance, Teamwork, Attitude, Organizational Skills, Cooperation, Character, Appearance, Productivity, Communication, and Respect.
Three primary results of the Work Ethics Program make it a winning proposition for all concerned.
These results are:
• Students begin employment with positive work ethic skills, which will enhance their value as employees.
• Instructors develop more motivated and attentive students.
• Employers acquire employees with desirable work habits.