Embracing Professionalism in Today’s Workspaces

Professionalism is a cornerstone of success in any field, transcending industries and professions. It goes beyond mere adherence to a dress code or punctuality; it embodies a set of qualities that define an individual’s commitment to excellence, ethics, and continuous improvement. In this article, we will explore the definition of professionalism and delve into the myriad benefits it brings to both individuals and organizations.

I’ve heard colleagues say what is not professional regarding everything from attire, to wording, to interactions at networking events. Instead of stating what professionalism is not, I want to share the definition and benefit(s), of what professionalism IS.

Professionalism is the conduct, behavior, and attitude that characterizes a professional person in a specific field. It encompasses a combination of qualities such as competence, integrity, accountability, courtesy, and a commitment to maintaining high standards. A professional individual is one who not only possesses the necessary skills and knowledge but also conducts themselves in a manner that fosters trust and respect.

Throughout the 2024 calendar year, our organization will focus and take a deeper look at the real time traits of professionalism in today’s workspaces. Although the benefits of professionalism are many, this introductory writing will highlight only seven (7); think of them like pillars:

Credibility and Trust

Professionalism is a key factor in building credibility and trust with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. A professional demeanor instills confidence in others, making them more likely to rely on your expertise and judgment. It is worth noting that something as simple as being prepared and on time for an online meeting reinforces credibility and trust. So please, check your connection before the meeting.

Career Advancement

Individuals who consistently exhibit professionalism are more likely to be recognized and rewarded in their careers. Employers value employees who can represent their organizations positively, and professionalism is often a deciding factor in promotions and career advancement.

Effective Communication

Professionalism is closely linked to effective communication. Clear, concise, and respectful communication is a hallmark of a professional individual. This skill is vital in fostering positive relationships, resolving conflicts, and achieving successful outcomes in the workplace.

Enhanced Work Environment

A workplace where professionalism is encouraged and practiced tends to be more positive and productive. Professional individuals contribute to a culture of respect, cooperation, and shared goals, leading to a more harmonious work environment.

Client Satisfaction

In client-facing professions, professionalism is directly tied to client satisfaction. Clients are more likely to be satisfied with the services or products provided by professionals who consistently exhibit reliability, competence, and a commitment to ethical conduct.

Continuing Education and Improvement

Professionals are lifelong learners. Embracing professionalism means a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. Staying updated on industry trends, acquiring new skills, and adapting to changes are integral aspects of maintaining professionalism.

Ethical Conduct

Professionalism and ethical conduct go hand in hand. A professional individual adheres to a code of ethics, ensuring that their actions align with principles that prioritize honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

The truth is, professionalism is a multifaceted concept that extends beyond the surface-level aspects of a job. In a shifting workspace that has yet to fully commit to what it will be since the global impact of COVID-19, and the aggressive integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in every industry, professionalism remains a commitment to excellence, ethics, and continuous improvement that reaps numerous benefits for individuals and organizations alike. As professionals strive to embody these qualities, they not only enhance their own careers but also contribute to the creation of positive and successful work environments.

Undeniable Fact: Possessing an internal drive helps you achieve your goals.

Another undeniable fact; internal drive is just one of many factors that influence success.

Sara was a young lady who had a dream of becoming a professional dancer. She had been dancing since she was three years old and had always been passionate about it. However, as she grew older, she realized that becoming a professional dancer was not going to be easy. She would have to work hard, practice every day, and make many sacrifices along the way.

Despite the challenges, Sarah never gave up on her dream. She possessed an internal drive that kept her going even when things got tough. She knew that if she wanted to achieve her goals, she would have to put in the work.

Sarah spent countless hours practicing her dance moves, studying the art of dance, and learning from the best dancers in the world. She faced many obstacles along the way, but she never let them get in the way of her dreams.

Finally, after years of hard work and dedication, Sarah’s dream came true. She landed a spot in one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world. Her internal drive had paid off, and she was now living her dream.

What goals and/or dreams fuel your drive? Is it the coveted Triple Crown of certifications? Or maybe becoming a Director of a high-volume healthcare system? Perhaps sitting on an AAMI board and helping create and revise standards that influence sterilization practices nationwide? Whatever your targets are, drive is a component necessary to hit them; internal drive is necessary to hit them repeatedly.

At SIPS Consults, DRIVE is one of our CORE Values, along with Respect, Integrity, and Professionalism. It’s associated with resilience, fortitude, problem solving, self-motivated, self-disciplined, and focused. Oxford Language defines it as to “propel or carry along by force in a specified direction.”

What is the specified direction your drive is carrying you in?

The moral of Sara’s story is that possessing an internal drive is essential if you want to achieve your goals. It’s not enough to have talent or passion; you must also be willing to put in the work and make sacrifices along the way. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

SIPS Value – ‘Integrity in Leadership’​

Your leadership position or role includes the importance of giving corrective feedback as a leader and emphasizes the need to take ownership of that feedback rather than avoiding responsibility by blaming or crediting someone else for the message you are delivering. Below are seven key points in owning your leadership.

1. Taking Responsibility for Feedback: Effective leaders understand that giving corrective feedback is a necessary part of helping employees grow and improve. They do not shy away from providing this feedback because they don’t want to appear uncool, as a nitpicker, or unempathetic.

2. Failure to Address/ Removing Yourself: Failure to address is when a leader attributes tough feedback to someone else, such as a higher-up or another department, rather than delivering it themselves. This approach is not productive and often leads to negative consequences.

3. Intentionally Owning Feedback: Owning feedback means delivering it directly, being transparent about the issues, and offering constructive ways to improve. When a leader owns feedback, it demonstrates their commitment to helping employees develop and succeed.

4. Communication Style: Sustainable leadership communication uses fact-based communication when delivering feedback. It provides clear examples of what “awesome performance” looks like and how the employee’s performance differs from that standard.

5. Building Relationships: Taking ownership of feedback is seen as a foundation for building strong employee-manager relationships. It engenders respect and holds employees accountable for making necessary changes.

6. Difficult to Discovery: Let discussion discomfort develop into coaching conversations. Effective leaders don’t just point out problems but work with employees to find solutions and help them reach their full potential.

7. Invest in Training: Training programs such as Leadership Nuances, Language Mastery and Change the Narrative Progressive Leadership teaches these principles and more regarding effective leadership and management.

Great, not perfect, leaders take responsibility for delivering corrective feedback, communicate it clearly and factually, and promote a coaching approach to help

employees improve. This methodology not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to building strong employee-manager relationships and a positive workplace culture.