Last week, we discussed what a “good work ethic” looks like in the workplace, and we asked the tough question, “What are you doing to implement good work ethics in your organization?”

On the road to proving that good work ethic isn’t dead, we need to put those ethics into practice and take a look at the bigger picture: How do your ethics affect your employees and customers? If your employees and customers were to give you a review on your work ethic…do you know how you would measure up in their eyes?

It comes down to respect and dignity for your employees and your customers. Unfortunately, there are very few companies out there that truly adhere to these good work ethics.  A recently-published article by 24/7 Wall St. titled “America’s Worst Companies to Work For” proves that ethics are hard to come by; employees anonymously reviewed their employers via, and the results were staggering. True, these are the companies with the lowest ratings from their employees (it doesn’t show the companies with the best ratings), but this particular article highlights an important aspect of work ethic—it all starts at the top:

“A significant share of employee grievances was directed at middle management. Workers at these companies were…highly likely to disapprove of their CEO. Chief executives at 10 of the 11 worst companies to work for received positive approval ratings from less than half of their employees. At six of these businesses, less than 30% of workers endorsed the CEO” (Frohlich and McIntyre,

Respecting your employees and treating them with dignity goes a long way. If you don’t respect your employees, they simply will not respect you, as the latter quote implies. Practice humility in the workplace, value those around you by acknowledging their worth—everyone contributes to something. Each employee has a job title and with it comes certain responsibilities that help the company succeed, no matter how menial or critical the task assigned.

Most employees start out with the inherent desire to do well in their job and maintain a zeal for what they do, but, as time wears on, that desire can fade for various reasons. One cause is how they are treated by management. We stress the importance of leadership, mutual respect, and dignity for good reason; respect begets respect. Build up and support your employees and they will want to help the organization succeed. As the current news demonstrates and the 24/7 Wall St. article has made painfully clear companies are evidently failing at practicing good work ethics.

It falls to you. Be a leader, no matter where you stand in the company hierarchy. Acknowledge others’ value in the organization and treat them with respect. Practice legitimately good work ethics and encourage others to do the same. You’ll be surprised how big a difference you can make to others and to your organization by making the simplest of changes to apply good work ethics in the workplace.