In many workplaces, especially in tech-sector startups, the long-standing rules of professionalism are changing. Employees are less and less often expected to dress and behave differently in the office than at home. However, professionalism still has a very real place in the business world, especially in niches where client interaction with your employees is a common occurrence. Here are four easy ways for your business to encourage professional behavior.
Have a Specific Dress Code
People who are dressed for professional work will tend to also be more professional in how they behave. A basic office dress code, though not as common now as it once was, is still a great way to encourage your employees to be professional in the work environment. Many people also find that actually dressing differently for work than they do at home helps them to be more productive, meaning you can kill two birds with one stone.
Lead by Example
If you want your employees to behave professionally, you should set the example for the entire office by following the same code of conduct you expect from everyone else. Make sure you and the rest of your leadership team are always as professional as possible, especially around your employees. If you are consistently reinforcing professionalism through example, you’ll have very little trouble instilling it in your staff.
Gently but Firmly Correct Unprofessional Behavior
In any office environment, you’ll probably encounter at least a few instances in which employees are not behaving professionally. When this happens, address the matter privately and calmly, but be sure that the employee understands what he or she has done wrong and why that behavior needs to be corrected in the future. As with anything in leadership, promoting professional behavior hinges on good communication.
Make Your Office Environment Physically Professional
The physical environment in which people find themselves has a lot to do with how they act. If your office is unorganized or generally ill-kept, your employees will have a hard time sticking to a high standard of professionalism. Consider a few upgrades to make your office more business-like and sophisticated, such as modernizing your lighting and flooring or installing glass whiteboards like those from Vista Visuals Australia. These changes may seem small, but they’ll make a big difference in how your employees feel and act in the workplace.
At the end of the day, your employees will ultimately be responsible for whether or not they behave professionally, but there are many things you can do to encourage them. Over time, your goal should be to build up an office culture of professionalism that constantly reinforces itself to your employees on a daily basis.