How to improve Professionalism in the Office
By: Corporate Training Options, Australia
The need to improve professionalism in the office is extremely important in today’s competitive world.
If you’re a Manager you understand this better than anyone, because your staff’s professionalism can be the difference between your business struggling or thriving.
Whether it’s within the office or with customers, the attitude of your people and how they interact with others has great impact on:
- your team’s morale
- effective collaboration
- sound decision-making
- the quality of customer interactions
- and ultimately your sales
Professionalism in the office is something all members of your team need to demonstrate. These are skills that can be taught, learnt, and developed over time. Yes, effort is involved, however the positive effects on you, as a manager, your team members, customers and company, will be life-long.
Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your team’s professionalism in the workplace.
Product Knowledge – this will only get you so far.
Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of your field, your products and your services, is a must. However, it will only get your team so far.
You have to remember that people do business with people. And your customers will remember your organisation when you have professional, courteous staff, who provide them with relevant, smart solutions.
By focusing on these basic skills, you and your team will set your company apart from your competition for all the right reasons.
Attitude – Why Are You & Your Team Here?
Your team’s attitude to work and how they see themselves are key performance indicators of how you and your team perform and progress. When you empower your team and help them develop their professionalism, you and your team will also evolve.
Having a shared understanding of the team’s goals and their motivations (your ‘why’) will help everyone shift from a passive mindset to an active mindset. An active mindset means taking charge and moving from just reacting to looking at the “bigger picture” and providing solutions.
Based on our experience, teaching your team professionalism in the office will allow them to:
- Set goals individually and collectively
- Embrace change and office challenges
- Project a professional image
- Resolve conflict in your office quickly and easily
- And much more
When you change your team’s attitude from just going into work and wondering what the day will bring, to making decisions about goals, you will find much more enthusiasm for daily tasks, commitment to the shared vision and importantly, greater job satisfaction and more opportunities to grow.
Image – What Image do You & Your Team project to Customers & Others?
When thinking about you and your team’s image, it is important to consider the entire package.
This involves your appearance, your verbal and non-verbal communication, your behaviour and skills.
It can be helpful to identify someone, or several people, in your workplace who you or your team members admire, and who project ‘professionalism’.
Look at the way these people dress, how they walk and hold themselves, and how they interact with, and treat others. Doing a stocktake on this will provide ideas and strategies that you as a manager can develop for yourself and the professional image for your team.
Organisation – Do You & Your Team ‘Get Things Done’?
Business is driven by results. The more you can get done, the happier you as a manager will be, as will your team and senior management.
However, it’s never as easy as it seems.
With a ‘big picture’ mindset, you will be able to look forward and set goals – both short and long term – for yourself, your team individually and as a department.
The next step, once you have laid out these goals, is to prioritise them. Some will be more important than others, some will be urgent and need to be accomplished quickly, and some can be put off for later.
Time management skills and how to set priorities are vital here. While it may seem unimportant or irrelevant, good planning at the start leads to greatly increased productivity and outcomes.
Any training you can do in time management and project management, will be an extremely worthwhile investment.
Communication – Are You Making the Most of this Important Tool?
The first thing to know about communication is that it is a ‘two-way’ street. Good communication involves talking and listening.
All communication is about the effective exchange of information. Good listening skills will mean that you don’t miss out on vital information and what your team members are saying or are concerned about.
When you are the one conveying information, it is important that it is done professionally and clearly. Two methods of conveying information within a workplace are verbal and written.
Verbal communication may involve video conferencing, meetings, and presentations. If you have paid attention to your overall image, you will feel much more confident in these situations.
Almost all workplaces use email, and it is important to think carefully every time you send an email. Make sure the contents and the tone will be pleasant and acceptable to anyone. A clue is reading it out loud before pressing send, as at times we can unwillingly come across as ‘short’ in email exchanges.
The other form of written communication that you may need to use is writing letters. Again, think about the impression your words will create, and work towards ensuring a positive reaction.
Lastly, consider your body language, as it too can provide ‘messages’ to others. Are you crossing your arms as you speak? Are you leaning in? Are you checking your messages on your phone? Or are you openly paying attention and showing interest in others?
Personal Skills – Can You Influence Team Members for Positive Outcomes?
As a manager, it is vital to think about how you interact with not only your team members, but also others you come into contact with, inside and outside your office.
While some people are naturally charismatic and professional, there are many skills you can learn to improve the professionalism in the office and the outcomes of those interactions for your team.
A positive and sincere attitude will help you cultivate the relationships you have with those people you come into contact with in your workplace. And it is also important to strike a balance between politeness, professionalism and being over-friendly.
Maintaining good relationships will mean your team and operations will move smoothly – and people who think positively are likely to bring additional opportunities their way.
Conflict – Can you handle it?
Not every interaction is going to be a positive one. Conflict is an inevitable part of being human. In the workplace, it is important to minimise conflict, rather than inflame it.
Conflict is very disruptive, and as a manager it’s usually your role to contain and reduce any conflict professionally, with minimal disruption or tears in your office.
Additionally, as a manager, at some stage you will need to deliver bad news, or review a member of your team. It is essential to always use tact, and to focus on the action or event that is the problem, rather than using language that resorts to personal criticism.
Choosing your words carefully, being supportive, solutions focused and professional will reduce the stress of the situation. It will also allow you and that particular team member to take any constructive criticism on-board professionally without impacting the attitudes and morale of other team members.
And while maintaining good relationships with your team may be obvious, it is just as important they have a good relationship with you as their manager.
Good manners and a positive attitude should ensure that you are all comfortable communicating with each other. If you have practiced the skill of delivering critical feedback in a tactful and professional manner, you will feel confident in dealing with your team’s feedback.
As you can see, teaching your team professionalism in the office involves them learning a range of skills.
It might seem like a daunting list. However, the good news is that all of these fields have been studied carefully, resulting in many books, articles and online material with excellent advice.
Improving these skills starts with identifying the areas that your feel need improvement. Break them down under each heading, and set a plan to develop your skills in that area. It is much easier, when faced with a flood of information, to work in stages.
Understandably, this can be a time (and energy) consuming process. You may wish to fast track your team’s professionalism skills and training in days – rather than in months or years.
In this case, it can be much easier to let the experts at Corporate Training Options conduct training for your team, to ensure they truly learn the skills of professionalism in the office.
Learn more about the course
Why Choose Corporate Training Options?
We will address your pain points and facilitate customised, onsite training that provides you with a solution to your immediate problem, plus teaches your team valuable new skills.
About Corporate Training Options
Corporate Training Options (CTO) is a Business Training Company, which provides training in essential business skills, via onsite, customised courses. The courses provide a cost-effective way of ensuring you and your team are presenting your best image to the world.
CTO onsite courses are presented around Australia and in many international locations. Your training is tailored to meet your requirements and can assist you to develop your skills in a range of topics, including:
- Customer Service
- Leadership & Management
- Strategic Business Planning
- Project Management
- Marketing & Sales
- Business Administration
- Finance & Accounting
- People & Culture
- Computer Software Training
- Personal Development
For more information on the range of Business Training Courses available, please visit the CTO website – cto.com.au
We look forward to working with you, to build your confidence, improve your efficiency and maximise your potential.
Corporate Training Options
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