Professionalism refers to a person’s character and work ethic in his chosen field. Most employees do not take classes on professionalism in school. It usually comes from on-the-job training and experience. When employees lack this skill, a small business owner can teach professionalism in the workplace using film as a tool.

Film as Teaching Tool

Film can be a cheaper alternative than some methods for teaching professionalism. For example, purchasing a film may cost you a few dollars, and you can use the film several times. Hiring a consultant to come in and talk to your employees may cost hundreds of dollars. You need to pay this consultant for each time he enters your place of business to teach lessons in professionalism. Employees also may respond better to a visual stimulus, such as film, than to a consultant’s presentation.

Trigger Films

Use a trigger film to teach professionalism to your employees. Trigger films have proven very effective as teaching tools. A trigger film demonstrates a critical situation that can arise in your place of business. The film can depict a scenario of an employee interacting with a customer, client or even another employee. The film can trigger critical thinking and discussions among your employees concerning the issues that arise in it.

Choosing the Film

Find a film pertinent to your business situation. You do not need to go out and hire actors or even purchase a special training film to do this. Any film that depicts the type of situation that your employees likely encounter in your place of business will work. For example, if you run a small restaurant business, you might use a popular movie made in a restaurant setting. Gather all of your employees, or at least a large group, to watch the film together. The more people present at the viewing of the film, the more effective the discussion will be afterward.

Presenting the Film

Once you have gathered your employees, give an overview of the film. Tell them which issues the film addresses so that they can easily spot them during the viewing. Instruct them to take notes and explain that you expect them to discuss the issues present in the film following the viewing. Watch the film along with your employees and prepare questions to ask based on the issues raised in the film. After the film ends, lead a discussion on the issues raised in the film. Ask the questions you prepared to encourage your employees to interact with you and each other. Engage your employees by asking them how the situations in the film could have turned out differently.