"Work ethic is a set of values based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character."
I believe that to be partially correct.
The problem with the above definition is that it defines a good or great work ethic, but many people these days have bad tendancies when it comes to how they work. They take every opportunity to not do a task or have someone else do it for them, they do a job to the minimum requirements every time to avoid extra work, they frequently come in late or constantly have excuses for why some task was not accomplished, etc. So I believe there is less to the definition.
I believe a "work ethic" is a set of values based on a person's character and moral groundings. If the person is of poor character, then their work is likely going to be of poor quality. The same idea applies to someone with a strong character.
The reason all of this has been floating around in my head is because we finally have a new staff pharmacist at work. He is relatively new to the field and is still working out the kinks of being a pharmacist but he is diligent, kind, and strives to do the job correctly the first time. He makes note of mistakes on the part of the techs such as incorrectly typed directions for use, asks questions whenever he is unsure of something or wishes to learn how something is done in our pharmacy, and praises us when we have done something well. I quite enjoy working for him despite his being a little slow on the filling side because I know he will pick up speed and he goes along. I do my utmost to improve my speed and skill in the pharmacy to better help him and because I simply wish to be excellent at what I do.
My other pharmacist, however, is different. She is very quick with filling prescriptions because she's been a pharmacist for years, is quick to find fault with anything and holds onto negative pieces of information like a hoarder. She will spend half the day in a bad mood because we have ordered too much or too little of a drug. Also, I have only once recieved what could be considered praise from her and it was only half praise, half "why didn't you do this?" It is difficult to work with her because of the fear I have that whatever I do incorrectly I will be scolded for, no matter the size of the error. My actions while working under her are fueled by this fear to not upset her instead of trying to do my best, which means I tend to make more errors or at least am told about them more often than with other pharmacists.
I believe, based on looking at how I work under both pharmacists, that my work ethic is to do a job as well as possible and to always strive to improve my abilities and my speed. I do not see the point of "half-assing" a job because it will take less time (unless it's two minutes to closing and you insist on picking up your script in which case speed tends to have a higher priority). That's how I work and that's how I do almost anything in life. I tend to enjoy the small improvements as I come across them and find the whole thing to be one big challange. That's just how I roll. B-)