Why do we call it a work ethic? Look up the word “ethic” in a thesaurus and you will find words like value, code, right, and virtue. An ethic is more than a rule. An ethic is what we deem as correct when we relate to the world around us. A work ethic is how we relate to our work. It helps us prioritize our effort and attention. It tells us when good is good enough. Great teammates have a great work ethic. This gives them the ability to be depended on for the outcomes expected of them.