From CareerBuilder.com’s recent release of bizarre resume and cover letter materials, it is clear that many potential employees are unaware of what it means to have professional presence. Now, it is easy to say that you simply would not hire the prospective employee with the inappropriate email address or the resume in poem form, but that does not mean that the employees you currently manage have a full grasp of professionalism in the workplace.
The best way to bring your own employees up to speed is to clearly outline your expectations for their professional presence. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
4 Ways to Increase Professionalism in the Workplace
1. Create a specific dress code to ensure that your employees know how to best dress for success within your company. Host seminars about trends in professional attire, and make them an enjoyable break from the daily grind. Encourage your employees to discuss professional presence in small groups which might help them to keep each other accountable for the way they dress each day.
2. Offer training to all of your employees in proper email and communications etiquette. How do you expect them to address their peers? Their supervisors? Outside parties? Are there channels they must go through before sending certain types of communications to certain people? Are personal or political emails allowed to be sent from a company email address? Do you prefer a certain tone or style of email communication? Are personal quotes permitted in the email signature?
3. Outline the rules about personal phone calls. Everyone has personal business that sometimes needs to be taken care of between the hours of 9 and 5. But when is the appropriate time and where is the appropriate place for your operations manager to take a call from their plumber or consult with their child’s teacher? What is the best way for your employees to handle personal or family emergencies?
4. Establish a clear time off policy so that employees know the proper way to request vacation time and sick leave to keep the office running smoothly. Make your expectations about out-of-office etiquette clear. Do your employees need to create an out-of-office phone message or email message? Do they need to alert certain key people about their absence? Do they need to forward their phone line to a colleage? Is there anything special that they need to do upon their return?