You may have seen in recent news the almighty blunder made by Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe and the unfortunate capture of his ‘We’re in the money’ singalong. This cringe worthy moment was caught on camera by ITV News in between several scheduled interviews explaining the Asda-Sainsbury’s merger. This is the biggest deal to be made by two of Britain’s favourite superstores in recent years. With the merger said to be worth a staggering £12bn, Mike Coupe could have avoided embarrassment and a public apology by remaining a little more professional between interviews.
Described as an ‘unfortunate choice of song’ Coupe has apologised, but was this an accident or a very clever and comedic publicity stunt? Either way this has left many loyal Sainsbury’s employees furious and let down as they fear for the safety of their jobs pending the merger. This has got us thinking about the importance of remaining professional in all business situations.
Remaining professional in business situations
Professionalism in the work place is essential to the success of a business with varying levels of seriousness depending on the nature of the organisation. Being professional doesn’t have to mean the elimination of fun within a business, however, implementing important boundaries are essential foundations in the interaction with clients, customers, colleagues and other third parties.
Understanding the boundaries set by an organisation will benefit the team by helping to avoid conflict and misunderstanding between colleagues and management. Professional conduct with customers and clients can only improve the reputation of an organisation, encourage repeat business and long lasting relationships.
Dressing professionally can also have a profound impact on a business, especially if your role is client / customer facing. Of course dressing professionally doesn’t always mean to be ‘suited and booted’ but should be appropriate for the nature of the organisation. The way employees are dressed can be a visual representation of a business and guidelines for dress should be outlined clearly to employees, whilst being mindful of employer rights and individuality.
Monster.co.uk have published ’10 Ways to be professional’ which can be a fantastic starting point when addressing professionalism in the workplace:
10 Ways to be professional
- Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.
- Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.
- Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.
- Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.
- Respect for Others. Treating all people as if they mattered is part of your approach.
- Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.
- Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.
- Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.
- Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.
- Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.’