Work Ethics – Where did they go?

Everywhere we go people are complaining about the lack of work ethics. We hear all kinds of stories. Employees don’t show up on time, they aren’t dressed appropriately and sometimes they don’t even show up at all. One employee called in to tell his boss he was going to be late for work because there was a line at Starbucks. At least he called in.


So, what has happened to the old saying: an honest days work for an honest days pay? These skills are the hidden rules of success. America was built on this foundation and yet it seems to be slipping away. We are loosing many of our cherished values and ideals.


No one is teaching work ethics. You hear a lot about soft skills, but what we really need is work ethics. Parents aren’t teaching their children. Maybe they are too busy or perhaps they didn’t learn these skills when they were growing up. Schools aren’t teaching work ethics. The schools are too busy making sure no child is left behind. But what happens to these young people when they get into the job market? If they don’t have the skills to keep a job they often end up in the revolving door of entry level jobs. This is not the future we want for our youth.


Some of you who are reading this blog have a great work ethic and your children are learning your values by modeling your actions and hearing you talk about what is important. You may be struggling to understand the depth of this problem.


For a moment put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagine that you are a single parent and you love your children very much. You are struggling to create a good life for them. Unfortunately you never learned the skills to keep a job. Your parents did not teach you a strong work ethic. You can get a job, but you either quit because you can’t get along with your boss or you get fired for reasons you don’t understand. Since you can’t get ahead you are forced to live in a high crime neighborhood. You worry every day about your children. You want them to have a better life, but you don’t know how to make that happen. Your children are growing up without a model for success. This cycle will continue unless we do something to break it.


We can’t keep waiting for someone else to break this cycle. The time for change is now.

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