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How to Keep Professionalism at Work

Updated on February 19, 2014

High Quality Management

If you think back to the best manager you've ever had and you make a mental tally of their best characteristics, you'll realize that in many ways they were much like a great coach mixed with a guidance counselor. They give you a schedule, oversee your progress on a daily basis and use opportunities to teach when they present themselves. They are firm when necessary, fair to the team and they make the atmosphere fun and inviting for everyone. How do you become the best manager you can be?

Soda Jerk passing ice cream and soda between two fountains 1936.
Soda Jerk passing ice cream and soda between two fountains 1936. | Source

5 Ways to Have a Fun Workday

Happy=Productive. Fact. How can you start your days happier, work happier and finish with a smile on your face? Here are a few ideas.

  • Celebrate birthdays
  • Celebrate holidays
  • Have casual Mondays instead of Fridays
  • Play music during the lunch hour - mix it up - play "Gettin Jiggy With It" and "Rocket Man"
  • Have a breakfast buffet once a month - make it a potluck

Attitude and Perspective

A manager's mindset is extremely important when it comes to their ability to manage effectively. If a manager comes across as scared, angry or cross, their mood will directly effect the employees they are working with. Oppositely, when a manager is happy, has a good attitude, and is easy to get along with, the team they are working with will naturally follow suit.

Managers have the task of ensuring that all of the employees do their jobs to the best of their abilities. A manager that is intense may have a negative effect on employees. Managers that can add FUN to the work atmosphere will have happier and more productive employees.

As a manager it's important to remember that employees are constantly looking to you for information, for guidance, for cues. Regardless of the situation, managers need to maintain a calm and positive attitude. Never lose your cool.

It's inevitable that every once in a while you will make a mistake. When you're wrong, learn from the mistake and move on. Don't make the same mistake again.

  • "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

It's no secret that success is based on accomplishment. Most managers have attained their position through hard work, performance and success. As a manager you must now foster the talents of your employees by teaching, guiding and bringing out their best qualities so that you have a team that not only works well together but that produces exemplary work.

It doesn't matter if you're the boss, the manager or part of the working class, there are jobs in the business that have to be done regardless of your title. Now that you've been promoted to "manager" and you have a staff that reports to you, it may seem as though there are certain jobs that are below your pay scale. That type of thinking will make you enemies faster than picking a fight. If your employee has to take out the trash, make the coffee, clean the windows or sweep the office, then it's not below you to have to do it as well. If you see a job that needs to be done, do it. You are still part of the team.

Woman driving motor mail truck 1920.
Woman driving motor mail truck 1920. | Source


As a manager, any time you consider crossing the boundary between work and a relationship, you must first decide which is more important.

Reactivity and Feeling

Managers want to be respected as much as employees want to be treated with respect. Employees want to know that their point of view counts. As a manager who is cognizant to the differences of each employee, it's important that all employees are treated equally and never favored or repudiated. If you have an issue with an employee that needs to be taken care of, it should always be done privately and then put to rest.

As a manager, your staff will look to you as their leader. Your behavior should be on par with someone who can be looked up to and revered, not their comrade or their sidekick. You don't go to work to make friends or drinking buddies. If that is your goal, you will fail straight out of the gait. Managers should always maintain a professional boundary between themselves and every employee.

The best managers will know their staff well, be able to read them like an open book with big print and when you sense a problem handle it as professionally as possible. If you find that you have an employee who is unwilling to cooperate with the team then it may be time to assist that employee in moving on. It is a difficult part of being a manager but important nonetheless.

Pearl I. Young, Aeronautical Physicist for Federal Government 1922.
Pearl I. Young, Aeronautical Physicist for Federal Government 1922. | Source


Place your desk so it faces the door. When people enter, they will instantly feel welcome.


As a manager there are days when you will have to convince your team that your mission is as purposeful today as it was the day it began; you have to sell it. This is when you bring your team together and turn them into winners. If you believe in them, they will believe in themselves. Coaching 101.

During the course of your rise through the managerial ranks, there are tricks to the trade that will let your staff know the caliber of who you are. Let your staff know that you have an "open door" policy and that they can speak with you during times which are convenient for business, unless an emergency arises.

Motivation to cross the finish line: Billy Mills winning the 10,000m in the 1964 Olympics.
Motivation to cross the finish line: Billy Mills winning the 10,000m in the 1964 Olympics. | Source


Make decisions and stand behind the decisions you make. Never back down from explaining the master plan.

Motivation and Communication

Your purpose as a manager is to champion your employees, catch them doing their job well and reward them for it. A good manager organizes the team, teaches them by example, encourages their performance and then applauds their success. Sound familiar yet? Coaching 101. Set goals as a team that are clear and attainable. When you reach each goal, celebrate as a team.

When you have the opportunity for individual recognition, take full advantage of it. It's unnecessary to praise every good deed or positive performance but if an employee does something exemplary, give more than a high-five. Positive reinforcement is extremely powerful when used appropriately. As a manager, be the exception to the rule. Be prepared, be consistent, be on top of your game. Always maintain "business class" when employees are present and sell, sell, sell.

Measure the performance of your employees regularly and let them know when to expect it. Give each employee a fair, honest and impartial review as well as very specific ways to improve their job performance, especially if they are teetering on termination. Reviews should be documented and signed by management and staff to ensure clarity.

Have meetings on a regular basis. Weekly or bi-weekly at the very least, have a scheduled meeting that is structured and recorded. It's your time to check in with all departments, ask for any schedule changes, make sure that they are aware of any changes you might have made or that administration has made, go over new procedures, practice etiquette as a group, go over safety issues...go get em' coach. Most importantly, be prepared for meetings and be clear when you are speaking to the group. If you have an issue with one person, the weekly meeting is never the place to address it.



Check your messages on a regular basis and return all phone calls within 24 hours.

Support and Gumption

Managing a remarkable team takes a lot of work. You can't do all the work yourself so learn to delegate to the people you've trained. Continue to help your team to be successful through teaching and training and maintaining excellent management skills.

Once your team is effectively running and you recognize an "up and comer", promote! Public demonstrations of support are great for morale. Oppositely, if a problem should arise, solve it and move on. Let your staff know that they can depend on you to be a fair, dependable leader.

Be decisive and demanding. You've hired and trained the best possible staff, you've clearly discussed your goals and how to attain them, now set the standard high. As soon as you see results, let everyone know. Your commitment to the team will be obvious.

Every now and then you will have to make difficult decisions. Whether the commands are coming from you or from the powers that be, problems need to be solved and peace must be restored.

Integrity and Responsibility

In addition to all of the amiable qualities you have, in order to be a supreme leader you must also be:


If your employees cannot trust you to keep your word, to follow through with promises, promotions, raises or deals, their desire to go to bat for you and for the team will diminish very quickly.

If your team doesn't produce results, take responsibility for it. Don't pass the buck. Figure out what is working, what's not and learn from your mistakes. Keep your composure, make an agenda and start again.

When you are hiring, take your time. Never be in a rush to have warm bodies on staff. Ask great questions, check references and recommendations. In the long run, you will be glad you did.

Tiger 1895
Tiger 1895 | Source

Coaching 101

It's important that you know enough to do every job however, hire talented people and train them to be the best at what they do, then give them all the credit and watch them succeed. Go get 'em tiger.

Courtesy of YOU TUBE

What is the worst quality a manager can have?

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    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      kashmir56, thank you for the great comment and for the votes. I appreciate you taking the time to read. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      leah, thank you for reading . I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a great comment. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      teaches, thank you so much for reading and commenting. You always leave such inspiring comments. Nice to hear from you. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      greatstuff, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I'm sorry for taking so long to get back. I appreciate your compliments and votes. -K

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and very well laid out with some great advice within this well written hub. Loved all the vintage photos you used to highlight this hub ! Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      I love this - mutual respect and a professional attitude go a long way in a working relationship. Honesty and basic etiquette go a long way to ensuring positive relationships in the workplace - as well as having empathy and a cooperative attitude!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Great write-up on ethics and professionalism. I agree with the poll that honesty is the best policy in management. As a teacher of ethics and management, your hub is one that holds all the "rights" in leadership. Great job.

    • greatstuff profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      This should be a compulsory reading by everyone. As watergeek rightly said (and shared her personal experience) most of the top management failed to see these values and good staff will resign, leaving the company with incompetent staff. Voted useful.

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Mhatter, It's always great to have your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read. I LOVE San Francisco, the next time I'm in town, let's tour the prison and have lunch! lol. Thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from you. -K

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      At my company the question"What is the worst quality a manager can have?"would land you in human resources; where they would explore how we might improve our situations and thank you for your gift. :-)

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      lindacee, thank you. You make a really good point - the managers are not good make the excellent managers shine. I personally love the open door policy too. Vintage photos are great aren't they? I appreciate your input. -K

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I LOVE the vintage images you used in this Hub! There are so many great points you make, it's hard to pick a favorite. To me, the open door policy is paramount. I've had my share of bad managers over the years, but at least that makes the good ones shine even more!

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Om, thanks! Having fun at work is so important. We used to stop all business once a day, play music so that everyone could hear and anyone who wanted to would get up and dance. We called it a "mental health break". It only took 2-3 minutes every day but it was a great release and a great laugh! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Spartucus, It's great to hear from you. Thank you for always leaving such inspiring comments. I love working with people and as a coach, the two just seemed to naturally compliment one another. I appreciate you taking the time to be here. -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Watergeek, I'm sure you were a phenomenal manager. That's exactly why your staff liked you, the office ran well and the upper echelon realized your value. What's that cliché about hindsight? The best part about your skills is that you knew what worked for your staff and you didn't back down from it. I'll be on your team any time! Thank you for the excellent comment. -K

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      8 years ago from Parts Unknown

      I love the hub! You offer many timely tips which could go along way in improving many different work environments. I also love the Einstein quote and I absolutely agree with the four points in connection with honesty and integrity. I would love to have you as my boss!

    • watergeek profile image

      Susette Horspool 

      8 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Humph. I was that kind of a manager. And it worked . . . for my team, not for upper management. They had a different management style and didn't like it that I was generating loyalty from my staff. They didn't like that I was working with my staff and they didn't like that I was transparent with my staff. It made their management not very effective . . . which it wasn't anyway. But after they took me out of the position, that office stopped functioning very well. Interesting, huh?

      Then they hired the owner's nephew, who became their kind of manager - strict, monitoring, aloof, only did "management" work, wouldn't allow pleasantries. It didn't work. Just before I left they tried moving me into a position where I would have been training him in how to manage (without telling me that), so they obviously saw the value eventually. I wish them luck.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      8 years ago

      Lots of great points here! I also love your tips on how to have a fun workday. Having casual Mondays sounds like a nice way to make an easy transition from weekend fun to weekday work. :)

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Riverfish, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read through and comment. This was an especially long one! -K

    • krsharp05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristi Sharp 

      8 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Robert, The Einstein quote is my favorite too. I used it all the time when I coached gymnastics. It comes in very handy because it works for so many situations. :) Thank you for reading, voting and sharing. I appreciate your support. -K

    • Riverfish24 profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Very nice hub K, great points and I can totally relate to these! Love the 'etiquette' boxes. Good job!

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      8 years ago from California

      That Einstein quote is one of my favorite. And I love the idea about having a "casual Monday" in place of Friday. Great idea! This article is well written and well laid out. I also think that the pictures are a great addition. Voted up and shared!


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