Professionalism in the work place is a vital part of becoming a successful business. This seems like fairly obvious and simple concept, but if this was the case, and every company took professionalism to heart, there would be a lot more satisfied clients and customers out in the world. But Yelp reviews and other review sites reveal otherwise. Yes, there are many great reviews of businesses and their professional atmospheres, but there seem to be a equal or greater amount of negative reviews as well, and the businesses with continuous negative feedback tend to not survive.
Professionalism is of key importance to any business, and whether or not you are just starting up or you have been in the business cycle for some time, it is continuously significant that you remember that the atmosphere and attitude of a company should convey trust, which is another vital part of becoming a successful business. Clients need to be able to trust that you know what you are doing, that you will do a good job, and that you respect the people you intend to serve as well as the task they have set before you. Now these things may be true, even though your environment may not be up to the exact standard it should be. Even though you may be good at your job, and your business is put together well enough, without that key factor of a professional environment, these things might not even matter, because new clients won’t be able to look past your incompetent exterior. Which is a shame! If your business has the ability to be trustworthy, strong, and successful, but is unable to prove it is so because no one wants your business based on the inefficient presentation, then it really is a bummer that the one thing holding your company back was the lack of professionalism, which can be easier to convey than you might think.
To get your business up to the standard of what competence looks like, read through these three aspects that you may or may not have considered before. If you have heard of them before or have already consider taking these tools with you to the work place, read through them again to really get it in your mind what you can do to boost the professional atmosphere of your office.
For your consideration: Organization
Now this should be a given, but some offices underestimate the power of organization. They might run under the term, “Organized Chaos,” but in the world of truly competent professionals, that is not going to cut it. Even if you think you know where an important file or blueprint is, if you can’t guarantee it’s in a safe location where nothing can happen to it outside of your knowledge, then this automatically wilts the trust that you are supposed to be growing between you and your customers. Organization leads to success both inside and outside of the workplace environment.
Professionalism is conveyed through the indoor location of an office by organization as it has tremendous benefits for the employees of the said office. Efficiency helps a team work more efficiently, and by having a set plan for the locations of papers, files, drawings, or blueprints around the office place is bound to prevent any confusion between coworkers in regards to how the office is managed and where they can find any needed materials.
The organization of the indoor workings of an office also shows professionalism to clients visiting your office for meetings or updates. Say a client stops by unexpectedly and wants to know how the blueprint for their new home is going. If you have to scramble to locate the requested blueprint because you don’t keep them organized with a blueprint storage system, or worse, you are unable to locate it, then not only does that convey to your client that you do not prioritize them or their business, but it also shows the severe lack of professionalism that they should expect from your company.
In contrast, however, say the customer stops by with an unexpected request to view the status of their blueprint, and you happen to keep your blueprints neatly presented and organized with a blueprint storage system, then you can connect your client with the blueprint in no time at all, and not only will they be impressed with your ability to keep your business organized and accessible, but you will also relay the knowledge that they are valued by you, and that they can trust you with their business.
Organization can also help you when you are out on the job, or out of the office, meeting with a client. Knowing exactly where your papers or blueprints are means not scavenging for them last minute, and not leaving anything of importance behind because you knew exactly what you needed and where it could be located. It also means showing up to a meeting prepared and on time because you were able to find everything you were requested to bring with plenty of time to spare. This, again, helps to build that trust with your client as it lets them know that their time is valuable to you.
A few items that might help maintain the office’s professional atmosphere in an organized matter include blueprint storage racks, or blueprint hanging racks, that work to keep every blueprint on file neatly protected from dents or wrinkles, as well as easily accessible by members of your work place. Job jackets can also be used on a more small-scale level to preserve paperwork that may need to be continuously reviewed during a job. Other items might include a filing cabinet for important files your business is bound to encounter, and an organized bin to keep work materials such as paper and pencils available when they are needed
Work Place Appearance
Extending beyond the valued appearance and use of organization in your office, the appearance of the office is a clue to your professional status. Appearance extends to not only the use of the work space itself, but also to the employees and managers representing your business. Office clutter as well as employees that follow no evident dress code appear untrustworthy. How can you manage a client’s business if you are unable to even keep up the presentation of your own?
When it comes to the look of the team within a work place, it is important to not under dress, or to over dress for that matter. How an employee is dressed communicates effort to a client. If an employee spends at least a little time on their appearance before they show up to the work place, then it shows your clients the dedication an employee has to their job, and that they are coming to the office with a mindset of professionalism.
Dressing appropriately for the work place should never only extend to the employees of an office space, but also to the employers. If bosses come to work dressed carelessly, then the example is set for the rest of the office. Be mindful, as you should expect professional attire by presenting the expectation yourself.
Lastly, the office itself should reveal that it is a professional work place through its appearance, and one of the first things to pay attention to is whether or not your office has clutter. Always make sure your office is supplied with enough trash cans to prevent a disarray of garbage invading your team’s space. Make sure the office is cleaned regularly, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a cleaning crew. This is a healthy habit for your office, and it also shows how much you value your work and the business of your clients.
Office appearance also extends to decoration: there is such a thing as way too much. Make sure that your office is not off-putting with clashing colors and an over abundance of photos or posters, as this not only reflects your taste (or lack thereof) to your customers, but it also presents an unwanted distraction from the important matters at hand. It is also important to avoid being too bland. Again, this is a representation of your taste, and you should make your office a relatively enjoyable environment to visit.
Time management is another key to revealing the professional status of a work place. This goes beyond timeliness as it pertains to being early or late for work. It looks more into what you and you employees do with the time you have in and out of the office while you are on a job. Time is money, and wasted time not only costs you, the employer, but also might cost you a few clients if they feel you are not a good manager of their time while they are in business with your company.
One idea for this might be to have your employees, for a period of time, keep track of the way they spend time on a time log. You might be also subject yourself to this practice, as you might waste time of sorts and not even realize. When the period of time is over, collect each employees’ recordings of their work week to see where time is being wasted in some places, or where time should be spent more often in others. This will help you manage the time your office uses to not only remain efficient within the workplace, but also to show your clients exactly how valuable you find their time to be.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you to circle around some ideas on how you can make your workplace a professional one, and beyond that, a successful one. If your company should be successful based on your skill and your purpose, then the best way to show that to the world is through the professional dispositions of you and your office.