Professionalism is crucial in any workplace, from offices to warehouses. Without skilled, professional staff, it’s pretty difficult to take your business to the next level. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can help build professionalism in your organisation. From professional development courses to self-directed learning, there are plenty of ways to develop your professionalism.
Why is Professional Development Important?
When you’re running a business, you’re being judged from all angles. It doesn’t sound nice, but it’s a reality of the landscape we’re working in. People’s perception of you often carries more weight than anything else. This perception can be summed up in one word: professionalism.
Everything from staff dressing job-appropriately through to their skills in sales can add to your professionalism. You may wonder why it’s so important, but professional development can take you a long way. It’s also not just in the office where development can help you get ahead either.
Many professional development courses comprise things like conflict management, organisation skills, leading teams through change and time management just to name a few. All of these skills can be applied both inside and outside of the office.
In a business sense, developing the professionalism of your teams is so important for many reasons. It shows a dedication to staff development, and enhances the skills your team already has. For example, attending quality development courses can equip people with the tools to handle so many more situations. This makes them more skilled, and more able to work autonomously to achieve outcomes.
Book Professional Development Courses
One of the best ways staff can develop your skills, attitudes and overall professionalism is through development courses. Attending training courses allows them to learn in groups and draw inspiration from others across all industries.
Some examples of professional development training courses are:
These categories are quite broad, but they comprise of several courses that may only take a day. This is where you can drill down deeper into specific aspects of professionalism that you may need help with. Some perfect examples of this are:
- Conflict Resolution
- Time Management
- Workplace Resilience
- Leading High Performing Teams
- Public Speaking/Presentation Skills
This list is by no means exhaustive, and you can find all sorts of professional development courses from accredited training providers such as MCI Solutions. Even if you can’t provide staff the time to commit to a long period of study, they can certainly enhance their professionalism with any number of one-day courses and seminars designed to develop their skills.
Encourage Strong Mentors
If you want staff to take control of their own professional development, you should never be afraid to let them seek out mentors. A mentor can take many different forms. It may be a direct manager, or it could be someone completely outside of your organisation. Regardless of where staff find them, mentors can be a great source of developing the qualities needed for success.
Most workplaces will have fairly structured coaching programs or monthly performance reviews. These are a great opportunity for staff to pick the brains of their supervisor and learn all you can from them. It’s also time dedicated specifically to them, so they can ask questions about their own individual performance and how to improve.
However, we know that leaders change so getting consistency from this kind of mentorship can be tricky. It’s also an unfortunate fact that not everybody gets along well with their manager, and may not put much faith in their advice. In that case, why not allow staff to look elsewhere?
Mentors can be people they’ve worked with before, people they meet through business dealings, or simply people in other walks of life that they respect highly. The great thing about mentorships is there’s no set rules or guidelines. Staff can have more control of where and when they seek mentorship, and your business reaps the rewards of having more motivated, professional staff.
Learn from Social Media
When people think of social media, we often think of products being sold and people sharing photos of their pets. Well, social media is a whole lot more than that – you just need to follow the right people. Business professionals, leaders, motivators and all sorts of people use social media, and they’re often full of extremely helpful advice.
For example, if you run a sales team and want to motivate staff in a more dynamic way, social media will offer plenty of help. You’ll find a range of sales experts, consultants and professionals on there. Sure, many will be trying to sell some kind of service, but that doesn’t mean their free information isn’t valuable.
LinkedIn is particularly good for following thought leaders in your industry. YouTube is another great place to access motivational speeches and seminars specific to your industry. All you need to do is spend some time browsing, and find the accounts that can really help in your quest for professionalism. By sharing these with staff and encouraging them to do their own research, you can inspire, train and develop your team with minimal hands-on effort.
Enrol in Professional Development Training Online
The best thing about living in 2020 is the technological advancements that people weren’t able to access 20 years ago. This means training is no longer restricted to classrooms. No longer do you even need to stick to set hours of study. Online professional development courses are specifically designed with flexibility in mind.
Whether you want to offer your staff full Certificate studies, Diplomas, or even just short online course, you can find heaps of them online. You also don’t need to compromise on the quality of training. For example, at MCI Solutions, we offer a range courses available with flexible delivery.
Online professional development courses are terrific for those who are time-poor. They’re also an incredible way to show staff that you care about their career development.
Maintain Effective Work Habits
One of the easiest (in theory) ways to develop your professionalism is to commit to effective work habits. This may look differently for everyone, but by sitting back and taking note of how you work, you can probably find areas for improvement.
If you want to be really methodical, write down everything you do in a given day, from what you wear and when you turn up to work, to how you contribute in meetings and how you run projects. Don’t leave anything out, and then do an honest assessment of you perform in those areas.
Are you always 5 minutes late to work? Do you often get lost in meetings because you haven’t read the agenda? Do your own presentations drift into boredom for participants because you haven’t fully learned your content? All of these little things contribute to your image of professionalism. If you can turn those around and make improvements, you’re on the way to developing a professional persona.
Time Management is the Key
Like anything, if you’re not organised it can be nearly impossible to succeed. Managing your time effectively is a big part of being professional. For example, if you’re dealing with a stakeholder who constantly shifts meeting times around because they’re double booked, does this strike you as professional?
Keeping an effective calendar will allow you to confidently book meetings, and keep your appointments. In truth though, meetings and appointments are only one part of professional time management. You need to have a good understanding of how long things will take, and being careful not to over-promise and under-deliver.
Managing time effectively to allow for work, family, social activities, professional development and all of the things you love will not only make you professional, but happier in life and work!
Want the Best Professional Development Courses in Australia?
At MCI Solutions, we specialise in the very best professional development training courses. Whether you need your staff to be up-skilled for roles such as accounting, financial services or accredited courses in business, or you want broader development courses in leadership, human resources or time management, we do it all.
Our award-winning training programs are designed to teach new skills, and also further develop the existing capabilities of your teams. To develop your organisation’s professionalism and take things to the next level, contact us at MCI Solutions today.