No matter how small or large your business, professionalism is crucial to long term success. Professionalism is integral to doing any job well. How you and your employees conduct themselves at work, with one another and when serving customers, affects your business image, internal morale, productivity, and growth.
Professionalism Rules for the Workplace
In order to run your business in a professional manner, model professional behavior, establish best practices for proper work conduct, train your staff, and enforce the rules.
Career professionalism must include:
- Reliability: Be punctual and always on time, so that co-workers and customers can depend upon you. Get to work and meetings on time and return timely from lunch breaks, vacation, etc.
- Positive attitude: Don’t let your personal mood affect your work, or other staff members and/or customers. If you cannot be upbeat at work, consider a new career. Start a business or new position that you truly enjoy.
- Proper attire: Whether your work is in a conservative environment or a casual one, cleanliness and neatness are important. Clothes should be in good repair and appropriate for the type of work performed.
- Respectful language: Yelling and profanity don’t belong at work. Take a deep breath or a walk, rather than lashing out. You’ll be dealing with, and probably depending upon, your co-workers and customers for a long time. Preserve the relationships (and your reputation) by being calm and logical.
- Teamwork: Work can be more fun and satisfying when colleagues help one another as needed. For business success, teamwork is essential and benefits everyone.
- Discretion: Keep sensitive or unverified information to yourself. Spreading rumors can negatively affect your future in your industry.
- Tact: When you need to speak up at work, you can do so without creating drama. Focus on solving the issue you’ve brought up, rather than attacking others. Assume everyone wants the best for the business and work respectfully together.
- Truthfulness: Being deceptive with others ruins a trust you have, or want to build, with others.
- Responsibility: Own your errors. Never make excuses or blame others. See mistakes as a positive in life and work. They are opportunities to learn. If you take responsibility for, and correct, your mistakes, they can even raise your status in business.
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