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Professionalism is a code of conduct enforced in the workplace that dictates how employees and associates must behave, dress and interact with co-workers and clients. Professionalism is also reflected in the effort and quality of work put forth by employees.
Appropriate attire depends upon the workplace setting. A business office may require employees to dress formally, while a boutique or retail store may be casual or enforce a uniform or specific color combination. In all cases, clothes must be clean, unwrinkled and undamaged. Immodest or overly- revealing clothes should be avoided.
Employees and associates conduct themselves professionally by being courteous, considerate, respectful and helpful to co-workers and clients or customers. For example, responding to messages, phone calls and emails in a timely manner and addressing co-workers and customers by position or age-appropriate titles (Doctor, Professor) are considered to be high professional standards.
In the context of professionalism, speaking correctly goes beyond using industry-appropriate terms or "business speak." Speaking professionally means avoiding slang, mispronounced words, grammatical errors and profanity.
A strong work ethic is a professional moral code emphasizing honesty, integrity and accountability. Examples include respecting and valuing the business by not wasting company time, performing a job correctly and completely and putting the necessary effort into a project or assignment.
Professionalism and Etiquette
In situations where professional protocol is unclear, general social etiquette can be applied.