Remote work is creating a shift in how we define professionalism. Before the pandemic the rules of professionalism were clearly defined. In some instances, attire was suits and ties–no exceptions, or business casual such as golf shirts, or cardigans and khakis on Fridays. In some cases, professionalism meant perfect grammar—a demeanor that reflected mannerisms and speech patterns void of any individuality or cultural attributes. Seemingly the pre-pandemic definition of professionalism was a construct of our unconscious bias designed to avoid any feelings of discomfort with the unfamiliar.
Many employees who work remotely are letting their guard down and removing the old mask of professionalism. Increasingly, employees are showing up in virtual meetings as their authentic selves not only in attire, but in how they express themselves in virtual chats where language is often more relaxed, and grammatical errors are overlooked. Perhaps because working remotely has enabled each employee to create their own safe environment, they are more likely to show up in shared virtual spaces as their authentic self.
As a leader, it is important to embrace diversity with a spirit of inclusivity. Determine how closely your current definition of professionalism aligns with your company’s core values. Take another look your company’s dress code.
- Does it allow employees to show up as their authentic selves or does it have an undertone that dictates how they must hide their cultural attributes?
- Does your current definition of professionalism support a psychologically safe workspace?
For the benefit of your employees, clients, vendors, and partner, set aside time to re-examine how you define professionalism for your work environment. It could make all the difference in the world.
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Make it a great day !!
Some leaders dread offering constructive criticism to employees because at times, no matter how positive their delivery, oftentimes, it is received negatively. Employees may feel embarrassed, ashamed, low and like they have a target on their back.
Let’s face it, none of us want to be perceived as a staunch critic but when carried out with empathy, constructive criticism has tremendous value.
Offer constructive criticism as feedback by explaining one of the best ways to grow is to identify areas of improvement.
Employees who do not receive feedback become disengaged. On the other hand, providing strength focused feedback engages employees and engaged employees are more productive.
Ideas for Best Practices:
1) Make feedback timely and don’t make it personal. Feedback is most effective when delivered immediately so that the employee can easily recall what occurred. Be mindful to allow a cool down period if emotions are elevated. Remember, when executed poorly, constructive criticism comes across award and accusatory.
2) Opt for an authentic approach using specific and supportive language. Avoid vague and judgmental language.
4) Frame the feedback with positive intentions. Say something like, “I know you’ll offer great information in your speech and I want to make sure the audience receives all of it. So let’s think of ways to increase your eye contact and project your voice.”.
By shifting your perspective, it will build employee morale and productivity.
Give us your feedback and share the method that is most effective for you. Whatever you do, make it a great day!
Photo Provided by Pixaby
The days of companies relying on the customer service department to manage every complaint and challenge are all but completely gone. Businesses are most effective when employees in every department have the same facts on hand to solve problems quickly and efficiently and to do it accurately on initial contact. Doing so will reduce irritation and foster a healthier business/client relationship (I think we all know that transferring clients from one department to the next only exacerbates the problem).
Let’s be honest, it’s all about management and employees working in sync and keeping the lines of communication open and silos torn down.
As a side note, I’d like you to consider this thought: when asking, “How was the service?” and the client says, “Fine”, you may have a problem on your hands. “Fine” can mean, “The service was on point” or it could mean “I’m never going to return to your store”. On the internet I found a funny phrase on posters and quote boards that support my claim that the word “fine” has a double meaning. It says, “Fine is not fine! The scale goes Great, Good, Okay, Not Okay, I Hate You, Fine!”.
Photo Provided by Pixaby
Adapting to seemingly ever-changing client whims is no different from adapting to life challenges in general. Successful business owners accept inevitable changes—they quickly adapt and, when necessary, re-evaluate their brand, product, service, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. Adjustments are a fact of life and a certainty in business.
Sharing a few thoughts:
– Know your industry better that anyone. It’s up to you to manage customers’ expectations. In other words, it’s your job to showcase the company’s value proposition and to make it so memorable that consumers will know exactly what your business offers and how it is different from the competition. In the busy online and brick-and-mortar marketplace, make sure your business has a trait that is worth remembering, pursuing, and buying.