During the twelve-week ‘Communication Skills’ course the participants develop a ‘Code of Professionalism’ which is consolidated and refined over a few sessions. This is a useful exercise as the discussion often shows participants how others perceive their behaviour. This exercise also helps people to understand what professionalism is and how it should be adhered to in their work context. Each group’s code is unique to them.
By limiting the number of items they may have on their list, conversation becomes more intense. Which can we possibly leave out? There are many areas that are working well and the teams and individuals possibly don’t need reminders to continue doing what is good.
At present I’m working with two very different groups in the same company and it was interesting to see the overlap and differences between their final ‘codes’. Here I have consolidated them into one code. The most important items on the list were considered to be:
We will at all times:
- Be punctual.
- Finish meetings on time.
- Not extend our tea or lunch breaks.
- Do our jobs effectively and finish our tasks on time.
- If we know we are going to miss a meeting, apologise in advance, preferably in writing.
- If we have missed a meeting without apologising in advance, write an apology immediately.
- Double check that our work is correct.
- Follow up on all queries on a regular (daily?) basis.
- Use business language.
- Use the correct company stationery and not waste.
- Keep our work environment clean and tidy.
- Eat only at tea or lunch breaks and only in the allocated areas.
- Answer the phone on the agreed number of rings (e.g.3)
- Answer the phone professionally by greeting and introducing ourselves briefly to the caller.
- Greet our colleagues.
- Have manners and treat our colleagues (and all with whom we deal) with respect and dignity.
- Respect everyone’s privacy.
- Respect company confidentiality and be loyal.
- Practise team-work.
- Show a positive attitude towards others and share ideas and knowledge that will be helpful.
- Be honest in all our tasks.
- Not steal from the company through using company stationery, contacts, products, equipment, phones or time for personal reasons.
- Do not behave in a way that will cause a disturbance.
- Not come to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Not tolerate absenteeism without a valid reason.
- Never chew gum.
- Wear the appropriate attire for all work and work-related events.
- Walk only in the designated areas.
- Adhere to proper housekeeping.
- (I have purposely left this one ‘open’)
I invite you to go through the above and decide which points your teams need to consciously work towards. Which 30 points should be on your list? For interest you may wish to view another article where I have provided two very different group’s Codes of Professionalism - 'Working together' and ‘Code of Professionalism'.
If you’d like to know more about our ‘Communication Skills’ or any other training programmes that we present, please contact Brenda on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 82 4993311.