Professionalism in the workplace

Posted by watchmen
October 10, 2019
Posted in OPINION

In my years as a human resources manager, I have experienced and encountered varied personalities within the organization, along with a different company culture. One of the many issues that arise in a corporate setting is professionalism but, before I proceed, the issue of leadership must first be resolved—good leadership skills are essential before exercising professionalism.
In one of my readings of the Bible, I was shocked to find there were only two animals in the animal kingdom that the Creator identified with, the lion and the eagle. These two animals are the kings of their respective domains; the lion is the king of the jungle and the eagle is the king of birds.
What are the characteristics of a lion? The lion is not the biggest animal. It is also not the tallest, heaviest, smartest, nor largest; in fact, a lion is just a small cat compared to the tiger, hippopotamus, and elephant. However, when the lion shows up, all the animals run away. What makes a lion unique? Attitude. The lion believes it can eat everything in the jungle. When a lion sees a hippo, it thinks “lunch;” while, when a hippo sees the lion, it thinks “predator”—it’s not how big or small one it, it’s the mindset. The lion cancels all excuses to become a leader.
In a book by evangelist, Dr. Myles Munroe, he wrote: “An army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep”—the right attitude can turn things around for the better. As a leader, one must be a mirror of the organization. A leader’s behavior is transparent and can be seen by everybody. Their attitude reflects the entire organization.
A survey conducted among all the decision makers around the world asked: “If you want a change in your organization what would it be?” The keyword was “attitude.” Motivational speaker Shiv Khera said, “Leaders don’t do different things, they do things differently.” Generally if leadership improves, the team improves; if leadership changes, the team changes. Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks of changing themselves.
If one has the right attitude, professionalism would be a walk in the park as it would become a way of life, or culture—a culture that will trickle down to subordinates.
Professionalism does not mean wearing a suit or good company uniform, directing a team, or obtaining an advanced academic degree. It entails expressing values of responsibility and integrity. However, what is integrity? While there are many definitions, one description struck me the most. “Integrity is always doing what is RIGHT even when no one is watching.” Another one said, “Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, soundness of moral character.”
Character is one’s genuine personality and it is more important that than reputation. Reputation is just what others see and think about us.
Excellence and accountability at all times is essential because, in order to advance and move ahead, a high degree of professionalism and ethical behavior is required of all jobs.
Professionalism in the workplace is about respect and service and, in today’s workplace, the attitude of professionalism is becoming less present. One must nurture respect, trust, service, consideration, and objectivity in order for a certain attitude to be conveyed naturally and effortlessly—when there is respect, employees are able to honor their commitments.
Just by coming to work on time is a sign of respect; it is what you do and not what you say matters.
Leaders are expected to set an example and, since people generally want to be happy, one must create the right environment in order for everything else to follow.
Stress, burnout, and long work hours will not make a business flourish. Such circumstances will turn workers into robotic, frustrated people and will result in a negative attitude toward work. I would put indifference, lack of respect for boundaries and personal space, and gossiping as the most common negative attitudes at work. All of it leads to low productivity, which consequently affects the bottom line./WDJ

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