Professionalism in the workplace benefits staff at every level of your company, as well as your customers, brokers and other partners. Exhibiting professionalism can bring each employee an inward sense of pride, self-respect, competence, and job satisfaction.
As a leader, it’s important that you clearly define the behavior you expect from your team, especially for new recruits who have less real-world experience. Once the positive example is set, it encourages other employees to mirror that behavior in the way they interact and approach their job.
A well-kept appearance makes a positive first impression. If a person looks disorganized on the surface, then people will think that person is disorganized. Being well-groomed sends a positive message to others that you take yourself and the job seriously.
A professional works a problem rather than runs from it. He or she can be counted on to find solutions and think outside the box, if necessary. He or she is open to input and empowers others to tackle problems on their own.
Values are principles or deeply-held beliefs. A professional lives by a set of values that is beyond compromise no matter the situation; he or she bases decisions on these beliefs.
A professional will master the skills required for his or her job and is continually seeking to grow and improve. As George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” There is always something new to learn about oneself, one’s job, and life in general.
Enter conversations with a positive and upbeat mind. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Be mindful of your intonation and never use profanity. Non-verbal communication (i.e., body language) is equally important. Facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, etc., convey emotions and can easily be misinterpreted. Carry yourself in a manner that shows others you are approachable and open to differing perspectives.
No matter how good or bad a day is going, you control your attitude. A professional stays positive and optimistic regardless of the situation, especially in front of peers and customers. If stress is getting to you, remain poised and step away to recharge and refocus.
Successfully managing your route or schedule, planning ahead, completing paperwork on time and accurately, and keeping the truck clean are examples of an organized person.