In the workplace, professionalism is frequently talked about but never defined. By outlining precisely what your organization means by professional behavior can help stop and prevent the mistreatment of workers. Some ideas to incorporate in the definition should include communication and email etiquette and behavioral and attitude expectations.
It is important to address how the organization wants all workers to conduct themselves, including bosses and supervisors. Organizations need to seriously consider what it means to be professional in their workplace and this should be consistent throughout.
If you include respect in your definition you should be clear about what respect is for your organization both as an attitude and as a behavior.
For example, in one academic setting I worked in, the chair required students to call faculty with a Ph.D. by the title doctor because “it is respectful.” However, faculty would then be allowed to degrade students in and out of the classroom setting clearly demonstrating exhibiting behavior that was disrespectful. So, the desired goal for respect for faculty was totally lost because leadership did demand that faculty show respect be shown as well.
No matter how your organizations opts to address the issue of persistent workplace aggression, it is vital that you develop some type of policy and procedures in an attempt to improve the overall work environment of your organization.
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