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"Finn was not of the same ethnicity as the others in her office. Nonetheless, due to her acumen in the field and great communication skills, she was posted at a fairly coveted position. Her seniors seemed to like her work and appreciate the work that she put in. But, this was only until their position was not threatened by hers. She was a woman of free speech, in a diplomatic way. She did not believe in sweet talking her way into the social circles in the office. Due to this, she was not really favored by the juniors. When the time for promotions arrived, she was at a loss, in spite of deserving the promotion, for what seemed like, no reason at all!"
Do you really think there was no reason for Finn facing problems at work? As per the ordinary code of conduct regarding professionalism at work, it was due to her differences with a few others. This is definitely a common sight in the corporate world. As such, the concept of sweet talking and occasionally "compromising" have become household terms when it comes to the office, simply because of our competitive natures.

Only a few people are willing to accept that they have biases. However, almost everyone does. Each one of us has a soft spot for certain people and their kind. However, it is when this bias affects people negatively that we start being unjust. Many people face injustice at work due to lack of professionalism. Discrimination due to sex, color, creed, nationality, or religion is against professionalism at work. Then how does one define professionalism? Let's find out.
What does Professionalism Mean
Professionalism is basically, the knowledge that an individual carries about a certain field. At work, professionalism refers to a person doing his/her job with sincerity, and maintaining professional etiquette at a workplace. It leads to logical and completely unbiased decision-making, making it the basis of a good work environment. Professionalism at work is completely devoid of politics, positive politics, or mind games. Its root lies in those who do their work with quality and quantity, in mind.
Distinct Facets that Personify Professionalism
Team of Professionals, joining hands
- Adhere to your commitments with your reporting heads and colleagues. Living up to your commitments every single time is a mark of a true professional.
- Realize the sensitivity of the work that comes to you and make sure not to misuse it in any way. This will make you a trustworthy professional.
- Valuing the time and effort spent by others is never taken for granted by a thorough professional.
- Conducting yourself well in an office, following a certain set of work principles and setting an example to others, will make you a good role model.
- Laying high standards for your work performance from time to time and always doing your best in all that you do, speaks volumes about your professionalism at work.
Importance of Professionalism
Multicultural Office staff standing in lobby together
- Professionalism at work is important to ensure a good performance by all. If everyone is professional, everyone will do the best they can at their job.
- Professionalism at work is required to ensure good team spirit. If people work professionally, they will know how to value their organizational goals, along with their personal ones.
- Professionalism is required to keep all the employees motivated. Happy employees are positive brand ambassadors for the organization. Keeping the employees motivated, is important to maintain a good reputation in the company.

- It is important to ensure justice to everyone's efforts. In a professional environment, a person's quality of work is taken into consideration along with the quantity of their work. This phenomenon does justice where higher-ups appreciate the efforts of their employees.
How to Bring About Professionalism at Work
So, now that we know what professionalism is all about, it is important to know how to introduce this to your employees. It is very important to ensure that professionalism is understood by the employees who make an organization. So how do you inculcate professionalism at a workplace?
Multicultural architects working together on plan
Keep a uniform environment for communication. If you wish to refer to each other with formality (that is with each others' surnames, or using "sir" and "miss"), then let that be constant for all, in the workplace. If you want a more friendly environment, then let everyone refer to one another on a first name basis. Whatever you choose, it has to be constant and uniform for all.
Woman Employee using phone during work hours
It is important that all employees are aware of the professional environment at work. While their personal issues will be considered by the management when required, they need to abstain from discussing it during office hours. This keeps the office environment free from empathy-related biases about productivity.
Man and woman in office across table
Employees should be advised against the concept of competition bashing. Often in the heat of the moment, employees go about ruining their competition's reputation. This would include complaining to the management about certain aspects about them, or spreading rumors. This should be avoided at all times. If anyone is found indulging in such activities, strict action should be taken at the earliest.
Man pointing at his wrist watch
Punctuality is very important. If the office has fixed working hours, it should be met by all employees. In case there is a deviation by any employee, either they should inform an authoritative figure beforehand, cover up for work in the near future, or complete their day's target in a short span of time.
Man wearing, tying a blue tie
A professional dress code should be maintained. Luring a senior by wearing provocative clothes has been a tried and tested method. If one wishes to avoid the use of such tactics at the workplace, and avoid the possibility of fraternizing within the workplace, it is important that everyone dresses in a certain manner, that is acceptable by all in the management.
These training tips are to show how to keep the environment professional, yet flexible. A professional environment does not necessarily have to be a restrictive one.
Reasons for Lack of Professionalism
Professionalism is responsible for several positive actions in the organization. As a flip side to the coin, a lack of professionalism will be responsible for several negatives.

- Lack of motivation at work often occurs due to lack of professionalism.

- Leads to employees not thinking of the organization as their own, but as a place where they are till something better comes up. It will lead to declining job satisfaction.

- Leads to unethical acts in the company that would mar its reputation.

- Leads to higher attrition rate, which keeps the organization's recruitment budget in use at all times, causing it a financial strain.

- It also leads to lack of loyalty between the management and the employees, making the basic functioning in the organization difficult.

These problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more problems can be caused due to lack of professionalism at the office. But, I am sure you get the gist of it.
I do hope that this article has worked as a mirror for those who're not being thorough professionals at work. As such, professionalism should be maintained at all times. A professional work environment is a happy work environment. I shall sign off here leaving you to ponder over a simple thought opined by Frank Tyger:

"Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it, and doing it."