Quality Service: Professionalism – Tips to Overcome Barriers to Developing Professionalism

(1)“I don’t have enough time.”
New and experienced workers and supervisors can easily become overwhelmed with the amount of work coming at them on any given day.  “How do I prioritize and juggle all the demands?”

(2)“I don’t know what’s expected of me.” 
A lack of consistent expectations is one of the greatest frustrations voiced from workers and supervisors.   This can result from being new to an office or group, inconsistent supervisor expectations, or organizational changes. 

(3)“No one notices everything I do.” 
When an employee goes above and beyond in their work or routinely produces quality work that goes unnoticed, they can feel unimportant and demoralized. Sometimes the only recognition received is receiving more work.  This can emotionally deflate top workers quickly and permanently.  Especially during times of change, employee turnover or office crises, workers may feel unappreciated as leaders have less time to recognize them. 

(4)“My supervisor doesn’t do it, why should I?” 
Lack of modeling of professionalism from leaders was identified as a top complaint.  Supervisors must walk the walk before they expect staff members to walk their talk. Don’t expect your employee to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.

(5)“It’s not my job.”
Four words no employee should ever say! This mindset involves passing the buck, pushing work on others, and not wanting to step up or go that extra mile.

(6)“I am not sure I can make that decision.”
If employees don’t feel empowered to make decisions, they won’t make the decisions we want them to. Employees may not feel comfortable making a decision due to lack of knowledge, lack of confidence, or lack of support. 

(7)“I can say whatever I want to on Twitter.” 
Employees don’t represent DHS only between 8:00 and 5:00, Monday thru Friday.

(8)“I don’t trust my workers.”
Supervisors have to trust their workers if they are going to have a healthy team.To earn trust you have to earn it.  If people do not trust you, they will not “buy in” and want to follow you

(9)“I can’t believe they did that.” 
It can be hard to understand someone else’s life choices or circumstances, especially when they are different from your own.  Respecting the life journey of others different from you is an important work/life skill to have. 

(10)“I can’t deal with one more thing today!”
Workers can experience strong emotions when visiting with clients or coworkers. This can be triggered from a variety of things such as working with a difficult client or from experiences in your own past. 
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