Professionalism is the conduct, aims or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or professional person; it implies quality of workmanship or service. Every organization knows that a professional reputation is the difference between success and failure and they seek to keep their most professional staff.
Professionalism is all about success and influence; having a reputation for excellence and being thought of as someone who exhibits professionalism under any circumstances can open doors for you either in the workplace or in your personal ambition.
Following are ten golden rules to being professional in service to your organization:
- Always strive for excellence; this is the first rule to achieving greatness in whatever endeavor you undertake this is the quality that makes you and your work stand-out. Excellence is a quality of service which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards, it should be made a habit for it to make a good impression on your bosses and colleagues.
- Be trustworthy; in today’s society trust is an issue and any employee who exhibits trustworthiness is on a fast track to professionalism. Trustworthiness is about fulfilling an assigned task and as an extension- not letting down expectations, it is been dependable, and reliable when called upon to deliver a service. In order to earn the trust of your bosses and colleagues, worth and integrity must be proven over time.
- Be accountable; to be accountable is to stand tall and be counted for what actions you have undertaken, this is the blameworthiness and responsibility for your actions and its consequences- good or bad.
- Be courteous and respectful; courteousness is being friendly, polite and well mannered with a gracious consideration towards others. It makes social interactions in the workplace run smoothly, avoid conflicts and earn respect. Respect is a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or organization; it is built over time and can be lost with one stupid or inconsiderate action. Continued courteous interactions are required to maintain or increase the original respect gained.
- Be honest, open and transparent; honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as truthfulness, straightforwardness of conduct, loyalty, fairness, sincerity, openness in communication and generally operating in a way for others to see what actions are being performed. This is a virtue highly prized by employers and colleagues, for it builds trust and increases your personal value to all.
- Be competent and improve continually; competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly, it is a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve performance. Competency grows through experience and to the extent one is willing to learn and adapt. Continuous self development is a pre-requisite in offering professional service at all times.
- Always be ethical; ethical behavior is acting within certain moral codes in accordance with the generally accepted code of conduct or rules. It is always safe for an employee to “play by the rules”. This is always the best policy and in instances the rule book is inadequate, acting with a clear moral conscience is the right way to go. This may cause friction in some organizations but ethical organizations will always stand by the right moral decisions and actions of their employees.
- Always be honorable and act with integrity; honorable action is behaving in a way that portrays “nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness” which is derived from virtuous conduct and personal integrity. This is a concept of “wholeness or completeness” of character in line with certain values, believes, and principles with consistency in action and outcome.
- Be respectful of confidentiality; confidentiality is respecting the set of rules or promise that restricts you from further and unauthorized dissemination of information. Over the course of your career, information will be passed on to you in confidence – either from the organization or from colleagues- and it is important to be true to such confidences. You gain trust and respect of those confiding in you and increase your influence within the organization.
- Set good examples; applying the foregoing rules helps you improve your professionalism within your organization but it is not complete until you impact knowledge on those around and below you. You must show and lead by good example. Being a professional is about living an exemplary live within and without the organization.
Professionalism is highly valued by every organization today and professionals are hardly out of work. Apply the ten golden rules of professionalism and enjoy a wonderful, professional and prosperous career.