Career, Feature Story, Member Connections Newsletter

NAPW Feature Story: How Suite It Is – Workplace Professionalism



You arrive on time. Your appearance is impeccable. Your work is outstanding. Think you’re professional? Think again. Depending on where you work, employer expectations regarding workplace professionalism can vary widely. Yet, in order to make it into the upper office suite, you MUST be professional. How do you know what that means? Let’s take a look…

Integrity Factor
It’s been said that integrity means doing the right thing even though no one is watching. And, you can also add, without being told. Your willingness to “go the extra mile” for your employer, commitment to improve your performance and dedication to the bigger picture of your employer’s success enhance your credibility and prove your integrity.

Honestly Speaking
If you’re really sick, then call in sick. Do not lie! It will come back to haunt you and you’ll lose the respect of your manager and co-workers. After all, if you lie about that, what else do you lie about? If you need time off, take a personal or vacation day.

In All Fairness
Disagreements in the workplace are bound to happen from time to time. Yes, you may believe that your way of doing things is better than a co-workers, but name calling or foot stomping will leave you looking like a spoiled child. Simply state your case, why you feel strongly about it and walk away. If your boss chooses to proceed in another direction, so be it. You’ve shown her that you are a fair team member, and next time, your suggestions might be implemented.

Respectfully Speaking
From the C-Suite, cubicle set and receptionist to building employees, suppliers and clients, treating everyone the same – showing respect – proves you are not – let’s just say it frankly – full of yourself and simply pandering to upper management. Treating everyone with the same respect you wish to be treated showcases your integrity and willingness to be an integral part of your organization’s team.

Tick Tock
Everyone is busy, busy, busy at work – not just you! So, stop wasting time. Arriving late to meetings, being unprepared and checking your smartphone shows your lack of respect for your co-workers and their time. It demeans the value of your team and shows your lack of respect for yourself as a professional. So, if you’re running late, do the right thing and say so; it shows you care and that you handle situations professionally.

Blame Game
Okay. You made a mistake. You’re human! Own up to it. It only serves to prove to your co-workers and management that you have the confidence and dignity to say you made an error without blaming others or passing the buck. You’ll be surprised how supportive your colleagues can be in situations like this. And, yes, one day, you can return the favor.

Credit Line
Everyone’s contribution to your company’s success matters. Taking credit for others’ ideas, work or suggestions ruins your reputation and compromises your ethics. It lets your team know that you are not someone who can be trusted; ultimately, hindering everyone’s overall achievement. And, yes, they are well aware of what you just did! So, give credit where it’s due, and you’ll see how fast you are respected as a leader with proper ideals, values and ethics.

Here’s to workplace professionalism – how sweet it is!

We want to hear from you! How do you maintain workplace professionalism?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to take our poll. When you’re done, keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!


Megan Bozzuto


  1. Teresa Chappell
    August 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Great and informative information for the workplace. Being honest and a team player works every time! A true professional understands that things or situations may not always go your way.

  2. Jane Jones
    August 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    A very informative article. We all should lead by example and this is a great reminder. The article could have been titled “Team Work” as this is the criteria for a managing and having great team around you.

  3. dawn vickye
    August 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Though the work I am now doing requires work far below my degrees and experience level, i am as professional as I can be, doing everything as well as can be done, despite the occasional demeaning nature of the work, and the fact that colleagues in the team do not shoulder their part of the work. I was complimented yesterday on being exceptional and a “good team member” by the principal in the team, and was pleased he noticed how much i did to make his presentation successful. My feet hurt for all the running around and extra effort made, but his praise was valuedand made me glad I put in all the extra work.

    • Carla. Haddox
      August 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      I love the article and your comments. Great reminder to “grow where you’re planted”. Thanks for sharing….I have a feeling you will move up in no time.

  4. Carolyn M. Bausch
    August 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Having integrity is far above expertise or knowledge, those can be learned. Integrity is a core feature of the person, no matter what their position.

  5. Judith Daughtry
    August 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Excellent article. Live it and your team will follow.

  6. Rita
    September 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Great article. A true professional demonstrates that they can work as a team, not quick to judge others, never “fake” it, and most importantly, never feel they are always right.

  7. LaQuin Missouri
    February 4, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    That article was very informative. It is hard to display the qualities above when others do not display them. It is as if you want to follow the crowd then you get penalized when things do not go the boss’s way. It is tough in Corporate America

  8. Venita
    December 30, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    This is a great article and a good reminder as we go about our daily responsibilities. I also think that when one is confident and secure in her abilities and how what she does adds to her department/team, these traits will be displayed on a continual basis.

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