How to Show Professional Maturity in the Workplace
Employee expectations are constantly rising and changing – and companies must adapt. In a recent survey, more than one-third of respondents said that their employers could do more to improve their experience. Approximately 21 percent of employees stated that their managers never act on feedback. Your team members have different needs and wants, but they all expect you to show maturity in the workplace.
Professional maturity has nothing to do with age or work experience. It rather describes your ability to respect other people's values and cultural backgrounds, take responsibility for your actions and behave appropriately in the workplace. Whether you're an employee or employer, it's important to meet your responsibilities and treat everyone with respect. Politeness, loyalty, commitment and integrity are all essential.
Most people have little habits that can affect their professional image. Some tend to be late at meetings or arrive late at work. Some get caught up in workplace drama. Others have a sense of humor that may offend their peers and cause conflict.
As a manager or team leader, you want to be a role model for your employees. Therefore, it's essential to demonstrate maturity in the workplace and treat others the way you want to be treated. Maintain high ethical standards, acknowledge your employees' hard work and respond appropriately to coworkers or customers when conflict arises. Dress professionally and strive for excellence in everything you do.
How do you react when an employee makes a mistake? Do you lose your temper and yell at him or take time to analyze the situation and decide on the best course of action? One way to demonstrate maturity in the workplace is to handle things in a professional manner. Treat your employees with respect and avoid impulsive decision-making.
Now imagine the following scenario. A client asks you to take on a complex project that requires additional staff and resources. He is willing to pay extra, so you accept the offer right away. A few days later, you realize that you cannot complete the project because your employees lack the skills required for the job – and you don't have enough time to hire an expert or outsource work.
Reach out to your client and explain the situation. It's better to do it earlier than later. If you're upfront and honest, you may receive a deadline extension or more flexible terms – and mitigate the risk of losing your customer. Admit that it was a mistake to accept his offer in the first place. Take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming the circumstances.
Both you and your team must demonstrate professional maturity in order to achieve maximum productivity. Patience, discipline, honesty, punctuality and critical thinking are all attributes that define professionalism. Some of these skills take years to develop, but there are steps you can take to help you and your employees thrive.
Consider investing in professional maturity training. Attend workshops, seminars and other events that tackle this topic. InterAction Training, for example, offers half-day workshops to help business professionals grow and improve their behavior in the workplace. Participants learn how to build a positive reputation, how to deal with office gossip and how to react in delicate situations, among other things.
Professional development programs are a good choice too. In general, they include courses, workshops and team building activities aimed at employers and employees alike. You will learn how to offer and receive feedback, how to become a better leader, how to handle conflict and more. Discuss these aspects with your staff too; take the time to listen to your employees and invest in their professional development.