The Vital Nature of Professionalism in Workplaces


Professionalism is vital in the workplace. An employee, upon signing a contract for a company or any organization is deemed to recognize that he or she is bound to meet the standards, expectations and goals of professionalism and performance of the institution. Strictly adhering to the company's policies and guidelines is always a must.

It is anticipated for companies and organizations to demand and expect the highest levels of corporate conduct and working standards from all their hired employees. This is the part where it is easier to read on paper and understand but some employees may find it hard to practice in real life. Company policies may seem simple and mundane-from coming to work on time to abiding by all the rules and regulations which companies may issue from time to time, including the policies laid down in official memorandums, the company's Code of Conduct or Employee Handbook.

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Implementing rules and policies is definitely no easy task and this is where Human Resource Management comes in useful. More often than not, it comes as a surprise to people when they find out that human resource management covers more ground than they usually imagine. It does not just define the interaction or communication between an employee and the employer in the time period which the employee is hired by the employer until the contract expires or terminated by any of the two parties. Yes, it may be true that human resource management also covers the relationship between an institution and its employee but it begins even before that, with the policies that are created by the institution, and the laws that govern workplace relations. Human resource management is the process of working with people so that they and their organizations reach full potential even when change precipitates the need to acquire new skills, assume new responsibilities, and form new relationships. (Dobb, L and Dick, P, 1993)

Now that we the world is constantly changing and people are currently so immersed in the age of Information Technology, the world of human resource management is also changing more rapidly than we can imagine. With these changes come different challenges that human resource professionals face everyday. A company's most expensive asset is its human capital and that is why human resource management plays a big role as the company copes up with the competitive market environment, it also plays a strategic role in the success of the company or any organization.

One of the many challenges human resource professionals deal with is overcoming the challenges posed by hiring and working with diverse people. According to Thomas (1992), dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience.

Any company or organization's success generally depends on its workforce. Employing people from varying cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles gives the company the edge in capitalizing on skills and knowledge of these people in different perspectives. One downside of employing diverse workers is the danger of personalities clashing which can actually arise in any environment although the probability is higher in a workplace made up of culturally diverse people.

This challenge with the proper human resource management can actually be turned into an advantage for the company. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena (Cox, 1993), which is actually one of the most significant goals any company would want to attain. One way for the human resource professional to effectively manage diversity in the workplace is to have a culturally relative perspective which actually works by taking the best way out a variety of ways instead of the ethnocentric view of there is only one best way to deal about things.

Another constant dilemma faced by the human resource is recruitment. As mentioned earlier, the global market is constantly on the rise and the competition becomes stiffer as days go by. In any field of business, there are continuous developments, upgrades in technology and every day changes in customer requirements therefore it is essential for the human resource management to willingly and proactively modify the job structure, job classification and the organizational structure as often and as quickly as necessary to be able to recruit the right people which would fill in the company needs in successfully competing in the global market.

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It is always important for the human resource professionals to hire the people who not only have the ardent desire to contribute to the success of the company but who also who have the right qualifications that would match the need and requirements of the company. It is not enough that a person graduated from a respective university, got straight A's and has years of experiencing working. The question should always be about relevance and how suitable the qualifications of a potential employee are to the needs of an institution.

A branch of a London-based marketing firm has been operating for almost three years already. Composed of mostly Link Developers and SEO specialists, the management team which is composed of a Corporate Manager, three Administrative Personnel and a part-time accountant decided to hire a full time Human Resource Manager to oversee the growing number of employees. The company which started with just ten employees has now more than a hundred employees who have been with the company since it started almost three years ago, they treat each other family, some of them even live together. The newly hired HR Manager who was used to strict corporate environments struggle to penetrate the tightly-knit group of employees. On her sixth month of working for the marketing firm, the HR Manager is faced with a difficult task-informing some of the probationary employees about their non-regularization and extension of probationary contract.

What transpired that day was like a scene from the fifth season of the U.S television series Grey's Anatomy where the chief was slapped by a lawsuit when he fired several hospital staff and doctors through emails. The HR Manager for whatever reason she only knows failed to inform the employees of their extended probationary status personally on the same day their contract ends. In a desperate move to make her job done on time; she sent them emails informing them of their non-regularization after office hours. Since employees of the company are not required to check their mails at home, she called them on the phone, informed them of the email she just sent and required them to respond before the end of the day.

What she did appalled the employees and earned the ire of the management. An HR Manager is expected to bridge the gap between the management and the employees and not cause miscommunication between the two parties. A human resource professional should show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues in the workplace in an ethical and responsible manner.

Although it helps for human resource professionals to create good relationships with employees, it is also significant to establish their authority in effectively implementing rules and policies of the company. According to Gubman (1996), the important task of human resource professionals are first, to recruit the right talent to the organization and second is to make sure that the workforce is aligned with the business. Aligning the workforce with company goals actually requires offering workers an employment relationship that motivates them to take ownership of the business plan and informing them of their non-regularization is definitely not a way to motivate employees.

In summary, the Human Resource Departments must understand the core business of the organization to be able to manage employees effectively through planning, organizing, leading and being knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development.