Your organization is professional when everyone earns the respect and loyalty of the entire group of stakeholders.
Physicians are one example of professionals. The Canadian Medical Association describes professionals as possessing special skills derived from training and education who exercise their skills in the interests of others.
Applying these characteristics to your organization will make it professional.
- Training specific to the job. Identify the unique skills of each role and train people to reach the highest level of expertise.
- Altruism should be the standard for all. Help front-line staff to understand their importance to clients. Help them build value by serving clients’ best interests before their own. Work with managers to ensure they put the best interests of clients and front-line people first.
Continue throughout the organization. As the organization’s leader, you set the standard for altruism.
- Service Excellence is everyone’s responsibility. Identify the specific needs of external and internal clients: what they want, when they want it, and how easy it is for them to acquire it. Measure and improve service continuously at every level.
- Integrity consists of honesty and consistency. As the leader, say exactly what you mean and stand by it. Ensure your voice tone and body language reflect what you say and mean. Display enthusiasm for the positive and support correcting the negative. Be consistent in how you make decisions and work with others. Show you expect the same from everyone and provide training where required.
- Respect for others demonstrates you understand and accept their perspectives and opinions; and that you accept them as reasonable. When others express their opinions to you, ask questions to clarify their meaning. Seek to understand their circumstances and reasoning. If you differ, explain what you see and think.
Ensure every decision and action accounts for others’ perspectives as much as possible. Train and coach others to work the same way.
- Accountability ensures that there is transparency about decisions, actions and results. And they are accountable to those materially affected, especially their clients. Ensure your organization, as a whole, practices accountability to every stakeholder.
Your organization becomes professional as individuals become professional. Stakeholder groups, clients, shareholders, employees, community, regulators, and suppliers, will gain confidence in dealing with you and choose your organization over less professional ones.