Professional values

From CEOpedia | Management online

Professional values - principles and beliefs that have influence on professional behavior. They are commonly shared by members of specific profession and they determine a framework for attitudes and standards of work. Professional values support the goals achieving through better understanding of company's mission and integrating within the organization. They are also a guidance for decision making and conflict resolution(Idid S.A. 2016, p.288-292).

Professional values are closely related to code of conduct, ethical behavior and norms for various occupation. Depending on chosen profession, there are several obligatory codes related to proper behavior and factors that should be a guide for specific group of people. The values should be demonstrated through professional relationships and practices(Rao A.B. 2009, p.7).

Examples of professional values

In literature there are mentioned several professional values that occur universally:

  • Flexibility and Adaptability - being flexible to handle appearing issues and adapting easily to changing workplace conditions(Griffin R.W. 2009, p.508)
  • Self-Motivation and Ambition - asking questions to show the interest, making sure that the job has been done correctly, feeling comfortable with assigned tasks and being motivated
  • Dependable Personality - being reliable employee through providing the best quality of work, impeccable attendance and punctuality
  • Honest, Ethical Behavior - working on building good company's reputation by being honest and showing an ethical attitude
  • Professional Demeanor - the right behavior including treating the customers well, manner of speaking, dressing neatly and accepting the feedbacks
  • Good Work Ethic - providing ethical attitude to work and taking the responsibility for taken actions(Gray M. 2010, p.20-23)
  • Continuous Learning - having a continuous learning approach and using every opportunity provided
  • Teamwork - treating everybody in equal way, supporting each other and working together in order to achieve group and individuals goals(Furnham A. 2008, p.279)
  • Integrity: This value is characterized by honesty, reliability, and trustworthiness. It means that people can be trusted to do what is right and to follow through on their commitments.
  • Responsibility: This value is characterized by taking ownership of your actions and being accountable for your decisions. It means that you are willing to take ownership of the consequences of your actions and strive to do the right thing.
  • Respect: This value is characterized by treating others with consideration and esteem. It means that you show respect for your colleagues and their opinions, while also valuing their contributions to the team.
  • Accountability: This value is characterized by being responsible for your actions and being able to take ownership of your mistakes. It means that you are willing to own up to your errors and take responsibility for your actions.

Application of Professional values

Professional values should be used in all aspects of the workplace from hiring and developing employees to managing projects and delivering products. They should be used to help ensure that everyone is treated with respect and that everyone is held accountable for their decisions and actions. Professional values should also be used to foster collaboration and create a positive work environment. They should be used to ensure that everyone is working together towards the same goal and that everyone is following the same standards and guidelines. Finally, professional values should be used to help create a culture of integrity and trust amongst colleagues.

Sources of professional values

We distinguish three main sources of professional values(McCuen R. 2011, p.32-33):

  • Family

Parents are the number one of source when it is comes to values. They teach their children how to behave in specific situations, how to react and what it is good, what it is not. The children have their first responsibilities at home (e.g. cleaning a room) and they learn that hard work is rewarded. Being in charge of small daily things (e.g. feeding a pet) can create the dependable attitude and has a big impact of professional life. Moreover, some researches intimate that genetics have influence a person's value system and their reactions.

  • School

Teachers at school learn the children to be punctual, complete their homework and to study hard to achieve good grades. The children in school age become time managers: they need to prioritize their task: homework, family time, other school activities and they can feel the consequences of their choices. Studying at university requires similar skills: well presented and proofread work must be submitted on time. Obligatory attendance all lectures leads to building self-discipline. Having a position of responsibility in a student society or club allows to gain budget management skills. It also gives the opportunity to chair the meetings and communicate with wider group of people. This knowledge reflects later in professional demeanor.

Almost all of big corporation companies and associations have written a set of their values or/and an ethical guidelines. They usually includes the principles like respect and equality, taking the responsibility, being trustworthy. Different workplace allows to follow by policies and procedures, adhere to dress code, give excellent customer service or learn how to promote product and protect confidentiality.

Advantages of Professional values

Professional values provide a number of advantages to both employees and employers. They help to create a safe and supportive work environment that encourages collaboration and trust. Professional values also help to ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions, which can lead to better decision making and increased productivity. Additionally, professional values can help to foster loyalty and respect amongst colleagues, which can create a more positive workplace culture. Finally, professional values can help to create a sense of purpose and meaning in the workplace, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and motivation.

Limitations of Professional values

Although professional values are essential for creating a safe and supportive work environment, there are some limitations to be aware of.

  • Professional values can be culturally relative: Professional values can be based on the cultural norms and values of a particular workplace, which can be limiting for those who come from different backgrounds or cultures.
  • Professional values can be subjective: Professional values can be subjective and open to interpretation, which can lead to disagreements about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.
  • Professional values can be difficult to enforce: Professional values can be difficult to enforce, as it can be difficult to determine whether an individual is adhering to them or not.

Other approaches related to Professional values

In addition to the core professional values outlined above, there are several other approaches that can be used to promote positive professional values.

  • Setting a positive example: Leaders can set a positive example for others by demonstrating the values they wish to see in their employees. This can include treating others with respect, taking responsibility for their actions, and being honest and reliable.
  • Establishing clear expectations: It is important to establish clear expectations for employees so that everyone knows what is expected of them. This can include developing a code of conduct or establishing rules and procedures to ensure that everyone is held to the same standard.
  • Encouraging feedback: Encouraging feedback from employees can help to ensure that everyone is aware of the professional values that are expected of them. Feedback can also help to identify areas for improvement and ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions.

Overall, it is important to promote positive professional values in the workplace. This can be done by setting a positive example, establishing clear expectations, and encouraging feedback from employees. Doing so can help to create a safe and supportive work environment and ensure that everyone is held to the same standards.

Professional values impact

The professional values of individual person can impact the business in both ways: positive and negative(Manna S. 2010, p.60).

  • Relationships at work - different values of people who are dealing with each other could lead to some conflicts.
  • Supporting the work - creating organization's values in line with personal employees beliefs can energize the people to do their job better.
  • Leadership style - if the leader has a lack of awareness of company values, his leadership might be inconsistent. Having knowledge of occurring beliefs and principles can help in decision making and understanding the key processes.

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Author: Christian Ferdouel