Principles of Professionalism
Following are some of the basic principles of Professionalism for administrators and individuals working in an Institution
1. Punctuality: Time is precious; and the proverbial phrase “Time is money” almost stands true in this era of competition. 9-5 means 9-5 and 8-2 means 8-2; full stop, no excuses whatsoever; one should not leave the institution for one’s domestic, private work except after duty timings or by taking official leave in case of emergency; these by no way offer an excuse to become regularly unpunctual; if a meeting starts at 9 am, one should be at the venue hall of the meeting at least 5 minutes before and thus make all the planning to reach there by that time.
2. Setting of Priorities: If one is committed to an institution, then one has to set one’s priorities right to fulfill the obligations of that institution. This may even mean sacrificing one’s other obligations, commitments in order to carry out the duties of one’s present institution
3. Duty is duty: If one has been assigned a duty, then that duty has to be fulfilled by the given time period. Everyone should keep a diary of one’s duties so that they are fulfilled on time and not missed. And if possible assignments should be handed over well in time before the deadline date. This prevents mishaps and or missing one’s duties or failing to hand over a work in a given time.
4. Dedication & Devotion: One should be fully dedicated & devoted to one’s work. Taking one’s work seriously and with a purpose and not taking it casually brings the best results. One should concentrate every effort for the betterment of the department and subject, for the greatest benefit of one’s clients/customers/patients/students.
It should not be that one is present in the institution but his/her mind, concentration are somewhere else. Likewise unnecessary/lengthy gossip should be avoided. Everything should be planned out well before to assure smooth running of the different assignments of the department and institution.
5. Cooperation & Team Work: No institution is successful without cooperation & teamwork in every department of that institution. One should equally distribute the routine duties and for special duties, one can assign the duty to a subordinate or seek assistance, but it should not become a habit and should not over-burden his/her colleagues. And one should not take credit or hijack work done by a colleague.
6. Consultation: There should be regular meetings of the academic council/department to discuss important matters taking everyone’s views regarding different matters.
7. Prerogative/Discretion: Head of the institutions and head of departments decisions (before or after consultation), no matter how harsh or severe they may seem to be, are their prerogatives. They may be challenged but do NOT need explanation to be given to their subordinates. Such a clause is necessary for smooth running of the institution and the department. However it is preferred to consult with colleagues before making majority or all of the decisions for excellent team work and results.
8. Orders of Head of Institution/department to be Obeyed: All orders of the head of the institution/department whether one likes it or not must be followed after the decisions have been made and after consultations. This will allow for smooth and efficient running of the department.
7. Handling Disputes
If one has any doubt about the integrity of an individual working in the institution or a colleague, or there is any dispute, then one should
a) Approach the concerned person directly ,
b) If matter still not settled, approach the head of the department
c) If still unsettled, discuss the matter in a meeting of senior faculty
d) Lastly address the matter to the head of the institution and/or a higher authority concerned.
The following should never take place:
8. Back-biting; Leg Pulling: These are the drawbacks that bring about the down fall of any department and/or institution. One should not be back biting about one’s institution or any of the personnel of the institution. If one is doing it, I feel he/she has no right working in that institution. Same goes for leg-pulling which is always done in jealousy to degrade others. Such harmful activities should be discouraged to maintain atmosphere of mutual harmony, love and cooperation within the department/institution.
8. Acknowledgement: The duties performed by each individual should get duly acknowledged by everyone in the institution concerned with assigning the duty. The purpose is that even a simple appreciation, acknowledgement or simply bringing into knowledge of the authorities of one’s work (without monetary or other gains) for one’s work is a great incentive for doing more work and improving further. This is more so if an extra-ordinary work has been done.
9. Incentive: This is one of the hardest points to fulfill for any institution. But monetary incentives are not always necessary. Staff who have performed extra-ordinarily should be awarded with a simple certificate.
I think these are the basic principles of a successful professional institute and a successful professional individual. Institutions and individuals in the western countries have been strictly following these principles. This is one of the basic reasons western societies have been so successful over the past century
All these principles go a long way in ‘halalifying’ one’s job and all institutional/departmental tasks getting done in a professional manner!