In an annual survey conducted online by the opinion and polling gurus at Harris Interactive, Inc. for CareerBuilders, it was disclosed that the most frequently used excuse by employees for not turning up for work is that they are unwell.

This survey involved 2,494 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,976 workers across company sizes and industries.

The survey also brought to the fore several excuses employees tended to give for not showing up at work, some of which include: Had a doctor`s appointment; I needed to relax; I was suffering from a broken heart; I forgot I was employed; had to catch up on some sleep among others. Some of these excuses are obviously flimsy. Admittedly these employees could be given thumbs up for their frankness but when it comes to their work ethic, they are way down the ladder; a great deal of work needed to up their game.

Certainly no employer will be pleased to have an employee with a poor attitude towards work and a messed up work ethic. And if you are an employee, you certainly will want your employer to be pleased with you and proud of you. You will want to be an asset to your company rather than a liability.

Maya Angelou rightly opine: “Nothing will work unless you do.” In this feature, shows you how to build a good work ethic in four simple steps.

Consciously cultivate self-discipline

Self-discipline will make a world of difference in your life and career. Anything worthwhile achieving takes discipline. A brilliant mind once opined: “self discipline is the bridge between where you are now and where you want to be (Goals). Choose to delay self-gratification while you keep your focus on the long-term goal. Do the work that ought to be done when it ought to be done, irrespective of how you feel. An old adage states: “Never leave that ‘till tomorrow which you can do today.” By this, you make the most of company time and prevent avoidable stress. Persist in this course this will go a long way to enhance your productivity at work and possibly earn you a promotion with all the associated remuneration.

Be punctual        

You should be minded of the fact that some employees have been demoted and in some cases lost their jobs due to their ‘chronic’ lateness to work and other work-related appointments. It is also important to note that some contracts have been lost as a consequence of a lack of regard for time and schedule. Baring these in mind, resolve to be on time for work and for any other appointment. Do not keep any client or prospect waiting for you past the scheduled time for a meeting. Your employers and clients will take you serious when you are always on time. It tells them that you value their time.

Develop professionalism

Professionalism should be your hallmark. You should exude professionalism in conduct and speech; ‘look right, talk right and act right.’ Watch your attitudes, values and demeanor and ensure that they are in sync with that which is considered proper in your profession. Develop a reputation of integrity, which requires that you are honest, just, and consistent in what you say and do. Do not absent yourself from work except you have a genuine cause and have duly communicated same to your superiors. Strive to always complete work within schedule. Continually work at improving your skill-set and competences.

Stay balanced

Having a good work ethic does not mean you should be rigid and focused on your work so much so that you give no place to care for yourself, your family and those within your circle of influence; it does not preclude you from having fun, socializing, sleeping well and keeping fit while away from your place of work. Yes, you should give your job the best shot but also make time for your family. Maintain a good balance.

It is sad to note that many marriages and homes have suffered as a result of a workaholic mum or dad neglecting his or her spousal and parental responsibilities. That shouldn`t be your story. Work at being one of the best employees within your establishment but never at the expense of your health and your family. Keep your priorities in life clear since this will help you maintain the proper perspective at work.