Professionalism at work​

2015 Professionalism In The Workplace Study

Source: CPE 2015 National Professionalism Survey


51% of HR Executives/Managers believe the sense of entitlement among employees is increasing

49% of workers say excessive use of social media is the biggest technology barrier to workplace professionalism 

37% of people said ‘being focused’ was the most important attribute in professional people

59% of people said ‘being disrespectful’ was the most obvious example of unprofessional behaviour at work

The Meaning Of Professionalism At Work

Professionalism is a component of the concept of work ethic, which describes how a person comes to work and conducts themselves on the job. Here are some ways to exemplify professionalism on the job.


Be Punctual - Being on time is one of the most fundamental qualities of professionalism. A professional person is punctual to appointments, meets deadlines and delivers work on time

Be Accountable - Someone with a high degree of professionalism takes responsibility for their work assignments, their actions and any problems that arise resulting from their work

Be Organised - Organisation helps a professional person do their job effective and efficiently. Tidy workspaces, calendar maintenance and preparedness are all good examples

Be Consistent - When someone has a strong work ethic, they are diligent in making sure work gets done and is done properly. This means that work is consistently done well and efficiently executed

Be Presentable - While quite subjective, most studies still tell us that maintaining a presentable appearance with good personal hygiene is an important indicator of workplace professionalism

Be Kind - People that demonstrate humility, kindness and helpfulness are regarded as more professional. Professional people work well with others to achieve a common goal

The 10 Traits Of Professional People


1. Appearance. A professional is neat in appearance. Be sure to meet or even exceed the requirements of your company's dress code

2. Demeanour. Your demeanour should be confident but not arrogant. Be polite whether you're interacting with customers, superiors or co-workers

3. Reliable. You should be counted on to get the job done in a timely manner. Responding promptly and follow through on promises and commitments

4. Competence. Professionals strive to become experts in their field. Credibility is vital. Never stop learning and always be open to new ideas

5. Ethics. Ethical behaviour is important in all industries. Adhere to your industry’s code of conduct and also your personal standards

6. Poise. Professional people hold their poise even when facing a difficult situation. Do not replicate poor behaviour and always treat people with respect

7. Etiquette. The way you engage with clients/ colleagues on the phone or on social media should be courteous. Be respectful to your organisation and competitors

8. Altruistic. We all want success, but things don’t always go our way. Handle set-backs tactfully, be positive and don’t apportion blame

9. Accountable. Professionals are accountable for their actions at all times. If you make a mistake, own up to it and work/collaborate to resolve it

10. Positive. Our personalities are different, but we should all approach work situations with positive intent. Professional people are constructive, not critical