What is Professionalism? Has It Changed?

Throughout the years, the meaning of professionalism has changed due to the rapid advancements being made in today’s society. My generation consists of the “digital age” in which we have access to a resource our ancestors did not have with that being the world wide web. Advancements made in technology have changed the way we behave and communicate with one another in the workplace. From what I have learned in this class professionalism is a specific style of behavior employees abide by in the workplace. This includes the employees personal values and beliefs as well as their professional roles they hold. However, what is considered to be professionalism in today’s day and era has changed. The main reason professionalism in the workplace has changed is due to technological advancements. In the past, businesses and companies did not have outside distractions that were contributed from wireless web devices. For example, some people rely on their phones in order to text, tweet or update statuses on social media outlets. To some business professionals, these are inappropriate behaviors that do not exhibit professionalism in the workplace. A recent study had been conducted regarding college graduates and there level of professionalism in the workplace. According to this study conducted by David Polk, “38.2 percent of respondents felt that less than half of new graduates exhibited professionalism in the workplace. Nearly a fourth said that professionalism in young workers had decreased, while more than 15 percent believed that it had increased”. This is just one example of how professionalism in the workplace has been impacted by the advancements made in today’s technology. I can personally relate to this study and how professionalism among my generation is decreasing in the work force. Many students constantly feel the need to have their smart devices on them at all times. I feel as though my generation as well as younger generations feel the constant need to be in contact with friends and family at all times. This is seen as a rude and unprofessional behavior especially when it is expressed while on the job. I believe our generation needs to understand the old concepts of professionalism and how to manage web usage in order to produce an effective and productive work environment.

If you would like more information regarding David Polk’s study regarding the changes of professionalism visit:

http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/technology/articles/pages/technologyerodingprofessionalism.aspx

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