Work Ethic Large

Why Work and Personal Ethic Skills Matter

August 11, 2021

​Personal and work ethics refers to a code of conduct that is based on virtues such as honesty and loyalty. This code of conduct describes how people should behave. They should:

  • Fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Respect others.
  • Be fair.
  • Be safe.
  • Benefit society as a whole.

Personal and work ethics apply to everyone. Laws, policies, and rules are put into place to help ensure people behave in an ethical manner. It is possible for these systems and people in charge to deviate from being ethical. That is why it is important for you to use critical thinking and monitor your own actions to ensure that you are behaving in an ethical manner.

You should behave ethically all the time, even when:

  • No one is looking.
  • You are under peer pressure to do something wrong.

By having good work ethics, you will:

  • Help your company be competitive and meet your customers' needs.
  • Help yourself, co-workers, customers, and community stay safe.
  • Keep yourself employed and out of jail.

Illinois Essential Employability Skills

Personal Ethic: Integrity

  • Treats others with honesty, fairness, and respect.
    • Demonstrates respect for company time and property.
      • Is present and engaged in the workplace.
      • Demonstrates appropriate use of technology in the workplace.
    • Accepts responsibility for one’s decisions and actions.

Personal Ethic: Respect

  • Works effectively with those who have diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures.
  • Exhibits respect for authority.

Personal Ethic: Perseverance

  • Stays on task when provided with strategies for overcoming barriers.
Personal Ethic: Positive Attitude
  • Cooperates in a pleasant and police manner with clients, coworkers, and supervisors. 
  • Exhibits flexibility and adaptability.
  • Takes direction and correction willingly.
For more information on Positive Attitude Skills check out the Why Positive Attitude Skills Matter Article here

Foundation Skill Other Examples

Ethical Reasoning

  • Make ethical decisions.
  • Interpret and explain written policies and procedures to perform jobs according an employer's rules and expectations.

Digital Citizenship

  • Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology.
  • Practice safe, legal, ethical, responsible use of information and technology.


  • Behave ethically.
  • Act fairly.
  • Take responsibility.​

Scenario Guides

If you’d like to quickly test yourself on these skills, check out our scenario guide. This guide provides you with a few example situations on the first page, as well as space where you can write your solutions. Once you’ve done this, measure your responses against our answers on the second page.

You can find this guide in the “Documents” section of this article.

Home / Articles & Tips / Why Work and Personal Ethic Skills Matter