Survey Resuts: The 7 Noble Virtues of the Workplace

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

Last week we reviewed "The 7 Deadly Sins of the Workplace" and what behavior to avoid in the office. This week we are taking a more positive approach by reviewing "The 7 Noble Virtues of the Workplace"

Is it true that "no good deed goes unpunished" or is there such a thing as good karma in the office? Do selfless deeds hurt your career or help it? This week we discuss "The 7 Noble Virtues of the Workplace" and review the results of our recent survey on good behavior in the office.

Prudence

Knowing when to keep quiet about something

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 88.5%

You have to pick your battles. Knowing when to keep quiet can help you be heard when you have something truly important to say. Speaking too often may devalue your comments when they are truly important.

It is also important to your professional relationships to respect the ideas of your coworkers even when you may not agree with them. Make sure that when you do decide to speak up or offer advice, you are doing it with respect.

Prudence

Knowing when to keep quiet about something

Most popular answer:

64.5%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


Reader Story:
"A co-worker helped me complete my work once when I came in ill. They didn't tell anyone that they had actually done my work and their own that day. The person was being truly nice!"

Justice

Being honest and fair with others

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 98.6%

Remember your coworkers are your teammates. Putting your own professional needs before the needs of your team can backfire by not only undermining the goals of your company but damaging your network of contacts. 

Justice

Being honest and fair with others

Most popular answer:

60.2%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


Reader Story:
"I can count on one hand the coworkers who have done something nice for me, and they are still friends even if I've moved on from my job. They are the people I choose to surround myself with. They are the movers and shakers, and they know that hard work and support of others moves everyone forward. The whole 'In it for oneself' doesn't work in the long run. It works in the short run and that's why you continue to see it, but in the long run, everyone can see the flakes for who they are. So be honest, have integrity, and be a leader others are proud to follow, and your day in the sun will surely come. If not where you are now, then somewhere better."

Restraint

Allowing coworkers to make their own mistakes

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 65.9%

Restraint is a particularly difficult virtue to practice. By respecting a coworker enough to let them try an idea you believe will fail, you will not only allow them to learn a valuable lesson, but avoid causing tension in your relationship in the future. Remember to temper this virtue with wisdom, however, as you do not want let your coworker embarrass themselves or put the company in danger.           

Restraint

Allowing coworkers to make their own mistakes

Most popular answer:

This poll was close as

35.9%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


but 34.3% say it
“Can actually hurt your career”


Reader Story:
"My coworker taught me how to grow personally and professionally while making sure I knew what I was doing wrong and right."

Courage

Accepting challenging tasks

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 65.9%

Having the courage to accept challenging tasks can not only help your company, but can stretch you personally and professionally. Just make sure that you know when to ask for help and don't overpromise.

Courage

Accepting challenging tasks

Most popular answer:

45.5%
say it
“May result in a promotion”


Reader Story:
"A coworker knew I had an urgent deadline with changing details and volunteered to assist with anything that would help me to complete my project on time."

Faith

Trusting Your Teams

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 74.9%

No team can work successfully without trust. If you spend your time worrying about what others are up to you are not doing your own part. If you have faith that all of your teammates can get their jobs done it can help them have confidence in themselves.         

Faith

Trusting Your Teams

Most popular answer:

63.5%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


Reader Story:
"We have a great team and help each other when we can. The stress comes from outside the department, so we know we have to stick together and support one another."

Hope

Being Generally Optimistic

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 87.8%

Nobody likes a negative person. Believing in a positive outcome can not only help team morale, but can make your own work go smoother. Others may take courage from your "can do" attitude. 

Hope

Being Generally Optimistic

Most popular answer:

47.1%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


Reader Story:
"I had a project that was running way behind schedule and I was so stressed that I thought I would cry, but a coworker came by and told me she knew I could make my deadline and that she knew the results would be impressive. Without her support, I don't think I would have been able to finish on time."

Charity

Helping your coworkers with their projects even if you will see no benefit

Readers who believe they practice this virtue: 93.3%

Helping others may be a reward in itself, but it can also provide you with valuable opportunities to both increase your network and show others what you are capable of. 

Charity

Helping your coworkers with their projects even if you will see no benefit

Most popular answer:

61.0%
say it
“May help your relationship with your coworkers”


Reader Story:
"When my husband died a co-worker donated several days of his vacation time to me so I could take more paid leave and sort out my affairs at home. This was truly the nicest thing he could have done for me in a very difficult time."

Especially in this economy it is easy to feel alone. Coworkers can be very competitive and it may feel that going out of your way to put the team and your coworkers first is a wasted effort, but in the end people do remember your efforts and small kindnesses add up. 

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