Practical Application: Assessing Professionalism in the Workplace

Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Professionalism helps a workplace run smoothly and avoid unnecessary distractions at work. In this practical application, we'll look at one way to assess professionalism in the workplace.


The way we behave at work is often quite different from the way we behave when we're hanging out with friends and family. In order for an organization to run smoothly, it's important for all of its members to demonstrate professionalism. Professionalism simply means meeting standards and expectations related to appropriate behavior and attire at work. It's important to note that professionalism varies from organization to organization and often from industry to industry, such as customer service. In some places, ripped jeans and tattoos may be considered fine for the workplace, while in others, they might be viewed as very unprofessional.

Even though professionalism varies from company to company, there are a few general categories that customer service managers can use to assess professionalism in their employees. They include:

  • Ability to communicate with customers
  • Appearance in the workplace
  • Appropriateness of in-person or telephone behavior
  • Attitude toward customers
  • Competence
  • Proper use of workplace technology

These categories can be assessed individually, which can lead to a general understanding of the professionalism of a team member, by using the rubric and metrics below.

Understanding the Rubric

Before you fill out this scorecard, get a deeper understanding of professionalism with the lessons The Role of Professionalism in Internal Customer Service and Business Etiquette in the Workplace and Beyond.

Score Category Comments
4 Outstanding Team member is a leader amongst his or her peers, always demonstrating professionalism in this area.
3 Good Team member is above average in this area, consistently demonstrating professionalism in this area.
2 Competent Team member mostly demonstrates professionalism in this area, though sometimes he or she falls short of the highest standards.
1 Needs Improvement Team member does not show professionalism in this area.

Assessing Professionalism

Instructions: Use the rubric above to score each metric.

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