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Work Ethics of Young People

A New Work Ethic A New Work Ethic The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current work ethic of teenagers and college students who are entering the work force. The thoughts of these employees regarding hard work and scamming will also be discussed. The impacts that this work ethic will have on the future of American business will also be considered. Describe how typical the attitudes that Sheehy reports appear to be in work environments you have experienced. I have been with my company for 23 years. I am intricately involved in the hiring process.

During the first year of employment, the attendance of employees is looked at very seriously. We set this expectation before the employees sign their name on the dotted line. Our retention ratio due to attendance issues is about 75%. These new employees study the handbook with diligence and find every possible loophole to their benefit. The mindset is not to work as hard as they can and do a good job, it is to do the least they can to get by. Instead of being grateful for the great benefits the company offers, they complain about having to be called in when necessary.

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There is no more the thought that they will make a career with a great company, but it is just used as a method to pay the bills and if this doesn’t work out, they will go somewhere else. We are in the customer service environment and the philosophy, “The customer is always right” is very difficult to get the new hires to embrace. They feel if the customer is rude to them or if the customer continues to ask them the same question over and over again, they have the right to get an attitude with the customer.

I believe though that part of this is the home training that some of these employees come to the work place with. I have two teenage daughters and they are employed. Even when they were students and they felt a little bad, I would always say, “Get up and press your way”. They use to hate the expression and oftentimes would tell me that no other mother said that to their kids. I can say, though, that neither of them misses time from work and they have never called out. They also get compliments on their work effort.

They both still have their first jobs and will probably remain in these jobs until they graduate college. I taught my children to look at the bright side of things and to find the good in the job they have because the grass always looks greener on the other side. I also have a part time job at an Urgent Care medical office. Last evening, I had a customer call to complain that an employee at the “Welcome Desk” told her that they were closing at midnight and there were no more appointments available.

The patient was an 18-year-old in pain and began to cry and subsequently pleaded with the employee that she needed to be seen for the pain in her mouth. This employee was unmoved by the tears and maintained that she would not be able to be seen. First, this was against company policy, if a patient comes into the site before midnight, we are required to see them. I was appalled by this employee’s behaviour and reported it to a manager. We were able to get the patient seen at another site and the patient was so grateful that I took the time to help her.

Explain the implications of the work ethic Sheehy describes for the future of American business. Sheehy explained a generation of workers with a frightening new work ethic: contempt for customers, indifference to quality and service, unrealistic expectations about the work of work, and a get-away-with-what- you-can attitude. The first observation, contempt for customers is the most concerning to me. They must understand that without the customer, there is no revenue. If there is no revenue, there is no company. If there is no company, there are no jobs.

An employee must do whatever they can to promote customer satisfaction. They should attempt to exceed the customer’s expectation on every interaction. This will promote customer loyalty and keep the customer coming back. The second disconcerting ideal is scamming which the text explains is taking shortcuts or getting something done without much effort, usually by having someone else do it. The belief that is you only put in the time and effort for the big score. What they don’t realize is that we are creatures of habit and work habits that are developed when you are young carry with you through your whole life.

They may think when they get a good job with a good company that they will do the right thing but by my personal observation, I see that it doesn’t work that way. A friend of mine had two sons and they had to take turns mowing their lawn. The neighbor asked the younger son Todd to mow his lawn. The elder son Scott asked the neighbor why he didn’t chose him. The neighbor said that he saw the good job that Todd did on his lawn and the shoddy job Scott did on his lawn. Scott’s comment was, “Oh, I only did a bad job on my mom’s lawn, I would do a good job on your lawn. The neighbor stood by his decision and unfortunately Scott didn’t learn the lesson that the neighbor tried to teach and he still has an extremely poor work ethic. Explain whether it is more reasonable to expect workers, especially in a capitalist society, to be more devoted to their jobs, more concerned with quality and customer service, than Sheehy’s coworkers were. According to the text, the theory of capitalism rests on a view of human beings as rational economic creatures, individuals who recognize and are motivated largely by their own economic self-interest.

Consumers especially with the implementation of the internet have more choices than ever for goods and services. Workers, therefore, need to understand that they need to do their best and build quality products and provide excellent customer service to keep the customers happy. In our society, if a person works hard, is innovative and is complimented by their customers, they are recognized and promoted. It a communistic society, no matter how hard you work, you get exactly what everyone else gets. Therefore, capitalism should incite employees to work hard. Explain the reasoning behind employee theft.

According to Robin E Davis in her article, “Why do Employees Steal”? Some employees steal because they are dissatisfied with their job or their boss and they believe they “deserve” more than they’re getting – more pay, more time off, better treatment – whatever. They feel this is their way to ‘even the score”. Other embezzlers start off believing that they are only borrowing it and the pay back never comes. The best prevention against fraud is to establish deterrents. Just knowing there are safeguards in place holds employees accountable that someone is watching.

Just like placing a camera over the cash register and recording movements 24/7 will minimize theft from the cash register; good internal controls will minimize the chances that employees will steal. Second to prevention is fraud detection. There is a benefit to the owners and accounting department to have internal controls clearly in place”. Employees need to understand that if they are not satisfied with their pay or benefits, theft is not the answer. They need to understand that theft increases costs and decreases profit so in the end, the customer, their colleagues and shareholders suffer.

Explain ways the culture of our capitalists society encourages attitudes like those Sheehy describes. I don’t believe that the capitalist culture necessarily perpetuates the attitude; I think it has something to do with the generation. Capitalism has always been part of the American culture but employees haven’t always behaved in this manner. In my generation, people didn’t have that attitude. I think that because we came up having to work hard, we as generation wanted to make it easier for our children and subsequently some of them have the mindset that the world owes them a living.

I do think that unions have had caused people to have a poor attitude toward work. I was talking to someone who works for the government and she said that she calls out sick when she doesn’t feel like going to work and she provides no explanation as to why she isn’t coming in because she doesn’t have to . She is protected by the union and it almost takes an act of Congress to fire people in jobs protected by unions. The unions cause wages to be too high because they have to include their union dues in the wages and they diminish the work ethic of employees.

As a result many companies take their work offshore so they can get lower prices and they don’t have to put up with all the drama of union workforces. While I don’t believe in taking work offshore, I can see why some companies make this decision. The people in other countries are glad to have jobs and they will work long hard hours for much lower wages so they can keep their jobs. References Davis, Robin E, (2009) The Importance of Internal Controls, Retrieved July 24, 2011, http://onehourbookkeeper. com/2009/12/the-importance-of-internal-controls Shaw, W. (2010). Business ethics: A textbook with cases. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. /


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