Even with four generations in the workforce, there are generally accepted business norms that define professionalism beyond table manners and dress.
1. Business language should use clearly defined business terms in the correct context with meaningful objectives. As millennials countinue to enter the workforce, organizations need to understand styles and their business perspectives. However, “dude”, “sweet”, and “wasup” among other terms are not yet in the generally accepted lexicon.
2. Meetings are a necessary part of the business environment whether actual or virtual. They should be a setting that everyone is respectful of others’ time and arrive on time. They should be an environment of collaborative employee development and not just criticism or oneupmanship.
3. Cellphones or smartphones can be a valuable business tool. However, they probably should be on vibrate-only during the business day unless that is the only means of communication. Personal calls should be at an absolute minimum. They should be turned off during meetings and no texting.
4. Correct spelling and punctuation define you as an individual. You are viewed as uncaring and unprofessional if you send correspondence whether snail mail or email or any other media that contains typos, because this reflects upon your employer.
5. Listen more and talk less. Listening is a skill that can be developed and by focusing on the conversation, your response is more effective.
6. Deadlines are necessary evils of the business world. If you consistently meet your deadlines, you will be viewed as dependable.
7. Add value by generating new ideas. Think creatively about new products, saving the organization money, or innovative customer service.
8. Time management is a hindrance if you don’t schedule your time properly. Schedule a time each day for planning with most to lest important activities. You will get more done in less time.
9. Build your vocabulary. Start with a word a month and you will be viewed differently by your colleagues and your employer.
10. Avoid conflict by honing your communication skills training and becoming part of the solution and not part of the problem.