How to create a climate that inspires high levels of work ethic

One of the challenges faced by managers everywhere is engendering high levels of work ethic among their employees – especially in high-stress finance careers, where workers are often susceptible to "burnout." For executives in charge of workers who are handling banking jobs or accounting jobs, creating an environment where workers can live up to their top potential at all times can be nearly impossible.

Luckily, there are a number of techniques that any executive or manager can enact in the hopes of driving up the productivity of his or her workforce. Creating an environment where work ethic is a top priority can be tough – but with hard work, it can be accomplished, much like any other challenge faced by your business.

Create a recognition system
One of the easiest ways to inspire workers to put their best effort forward is to give them a reward for doing so. By awarding an "employee of the month" with some kind of gift or recognition, you can give your workforce a reason to respectfully compete with each other at no high cost to your business. The award may not be immediately prestigious – but no employee will want to look bad when compared to their peers. They'll compete for the award, and your business will reap the benefits of increased productivity. 

Set clear goals
Many workers don't live up to their full potential when they feel like the work they are assigned will get completed no matter what. By giving individual assignments, goals and tasks to each specific employee, you ensure that they have milestones or goals that they need to strive for on a personal level. We all get lazy sometimes. But by letting your employees know they're "on the hook" for certain jobs, you can make sure they're always working to achieve the exact task or goal you hired them for.

Break down your rule book
Every business has at least one or two policies that are unnecessary, and are instead aimed at creating a specific type of work culture. These rules may be helping – but your employees may also feel restricted by your rule book, which could lead to low levels of work ethic. Think about altering policies both large and small, such as your dress code, or whether or not you allow workers to complete their tasks from home instead of forcing them to commute to the office on a daily basis. Even the smallest change to company policy could help workers to feel much more relaxed on a day-to-day basis. This will improve their morale – and therefore, their productivity. 

Find out how your employees feel – and adapt to their opinions
Most importantly, you need to ensure that your workers always feel deeply involved with the ebbs and flow of your business. If they don't feel personally involved in the decisions you make and the directions you take, they won't feel a need to give you their best work at all times. 

You may want to consider including an anonymous employee survey on a regular basis, perhaps by including one with each worker's paychecks. This will give your team a pressure-free opportunity to let you know how they feel the business should change and alter. This will allow you better insight into your business, allowing you to see things from a different point of view. Better yet, it may just lead to an innovative new idea that revolutionizes your product and inspires your workforce. Perhaps the most important part of engendering high levels of work ethic is knowing when to listen to your workers instead of leading them.