Dr. Paul White, psychologist, business coach, and best-selling author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, is welcomed back to the Atlanta Small Business Show. Dr. White talks about the issue of work ethic and how it is defined between multiple generations.
Dr. White says that despite the fact that many people may think they know what defines a good work ethic they might be surprised to hear that it’s not about the standards set forward by an owner or manager, but rather by what the customer wants. For example, being available to a client who is a baby boomer might mean being available from 8 am to 8 pm. However, being available to a client who is a millennial might mean being available from 10 pm to 1 am. With customers nowadays driving business standards it’s important to remain aware of your customer’s needs in order to be able to better provide for them.
But Dr. White says that this might not also be a generational disconnect as we might think, but rather a life stage disconnect. A 25-year-old male living with some roommates in an apartment is going to have different needs than a 25-year-old male living in a house with his wife and kids. Despite the similar generation, these two lifestyles are extremely different and thus they have completely different needs from one another. And it is the business’ responsibility to do their best to meet the needs of each of these lifestyles.
Additionally Dr. White states the importance of giving realist expectations about work. Especially within entry-level jobs, work cannot always be expected to be meaningful and fun. There will be jobs that will be very unfulfilling, but you won’t be stuck in these jobs forever, and with a good work ethic, you will be able to improve from these jobs. Dr. White says there are four important things that are critical in a good work ethic: showing up on time, listening to instructions, following instructions, and when you’re done finding additional tasks to accomplish. These are commonalities that Dr. White says make a good work ethic, despite different generations or lifestyles.
To hear more about what defines a good work ethic check out the full interview above.
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