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Denver, Colorado – The rise of casual work environments and flexible work hours in recent years has included various benefits for employees, such as improved morale and work-life balance. However, these changes also have contributed to a careless attitude toward work results and an acceptance of average (or below average) performance as the norm. One poll, conducted by the national employment firm, Jackson Lewis, found that 40 percent of human resource managers linked relaxed attire and flexible work schedules to a laxity in workplace behavior and 44 percent noticed an increase in tardiness and absenteeism.

Moreover, 21 months of historically high unemployment rates are creating an unprecedented need for a professional edge in the job market. The importance of professionalism in the workplace cannot be overlooked as a key to improved employee performance, career success and advancement. Those organizations that stress the importance of professionalism in the workplace are usually growing, vibrant entities.

The retooled program has expanded concentrations in the critical areas of building professional competence and matching one’s own professional presence to the culture of the organization. Building professional competence includes identification of personal, business and strategic competencies, self-assessment of the nine most important competencies within those areas, and improvement in areas that need to be strengthened, as well as other critical skills.

Another unique feature of the program is teaching learners to align their skills with organizational culture. Learners will develop political awareness of approved interaction and behavior methods as well as the ability to communicate, develop work patterns and create individual power within the structure of an organization’s culture. When employees apply the skills delivered in the Professional Presence in a Casual World program, they will see a notable difference in how they are treated by others, and in return, how effectively they can accomplish the challenges put before them on the job.

According to Suzanne Updegraff, CEO of Employee Development Systems, Inc., “This is not a simple etiquette course. Recognizing that American business is rapidly falling behind those in other developed and under-developed countries from both an educational and an innovative perspective, organizations wanting to progress are refining their employees to be more professional in the workplace and in interactions with clients, customers and colleagues. Professional Presence in a Casual World has always been a cornerstone program for Employee Development Systems, Inc., but now it provides even more valuable information and core skill building.”

Readers are encouraged to download the attached Competencies for the Future handout, courtesy of Employee Development Systems, Inc., view the most recent professional development videocast and sign up for the professional development newsletter, in order to supplement their learning experience. To learn more about this exciting cornerstone program, please contact Sherman Updegraff, Managing Director, Employee Development Systems, Inc. at 800-282-3374, or visit

About Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Employee Development Systems, Inc. is a Colorado-based training and assessment firm that was founded in 1979 and offers employee development, management development, leadership and professionalism courses and accompanying behavioral style assessments, surveys and other tools. Employee Development Systems, Inc. provides services worldwide to Fortune 500 clients as well as small to medium-sized businesses.

The organization’s mission is to enhance the interpersonal skills needed to perform at a more productive level, to develop a workforce that adapts to change, and is creative and innovative, and to make the client organization the employer of choice. This is accomplished through establishing trust, building relationships and fostering behavioral change. Employee Development Systems, Inc. training and development initiatives address employee engagement, multiple generations in the workplace, and the ramifications of social media and collaboration.


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