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Professional Work Standards

Professional work standards are ways of describing exactly how we conduct ourselves as workers and partners. We need to help people. Professional work standards explain in plain terms every day habits that we can all move toward to fulfill that vision. These four standards are meant as guidelines, but also they’re high-level enough that they should apply to all scenarios within our workday. When you have standards you need to have measuring tools to help us apply the standards and receive feedback from all CSS staff—there are three listed below.  You should apply these standards in all aspects of your work and strive to serve as a role model of these standards to your co-workers, colleagues, partners and customers.

To help you learn how to apply these standards, you may also want to review Ethics and Confidentiality, Working for DHS/CSS: It’s More than Just a Job, Credibility – Your Most Important Asset, Why Gratitude is Good for You, How to Be a Good Listener, 10 Things Your Employees are Dying to Hear You Say, Resiliency—Overcoming and Bouncing Back, and the CSS Training Requirements Matrix.

Safety means that employees, customers and work places are free from harm or danger. Safety is everyone’s business and responsibility.

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • I practice safe behaviors in everything I do
  • I report safety concerns immediately and follow-up to ensure compliance
  • I am educated and knowledgeable on safety protocols
  • I follow all safety protocols required of me as a CSS employee
  • I follow all information security protocols
  • I ensure client safety and strive to prevent harm

Integrity refers to consistency in the way a person lives the values, principles and expectations of the organization in relationships with coworkers, customers, partners and stakeholders. Honesty, trust and fairness are central to integrity. This includes organizational and individual integrity and means that we act with only the highest ethical standards.

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • I do what I say I am going to do
  • I say what I mean and I mean what I say
  • I use my time and resources wisely
  • I do the right thing at all times, even when no one is looking
  • Within the rules of confidentiality, I share information and explain my behavior and decisions
  • I am honest
  • I make informed decisions
  • I accept responsibility for my actions and the decisions of CSS
  • My actions reflect the values of my organization
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • I am self-aware
  • I am responsive to the requests and needs of customers and partners
  • I abide by my professional organization’s code of ethics

Professionalism means having the skill, good judgment, and behaviors that are expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • I project a positive attitude and image
  • I am polite, courteous and respectful to others
  • My area is orderly and ready for visitors at all times
  • I support the goals and ideals of CSS
  • I am engaged in helping to improve CSS practices and outcomes
  • I perform my role efficiently
  • I display appropriate body language
  • I communicate promptly and effectively with others
  • I deliver information and/or services promptly and accurately
  • I have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a quality job
  • I am accessible to others during my work hours
  • I anticipate the needs and wants of customers and partners and consistently strive to exceed their expectations
  • I do my very best.
  • I am trained and knowledgeable about my duties and my interactions with others and my work products reflect that training and knowledge
  • I provide information regarding alternative community resources when my information or DHS services are not sufficient to meet my customers’ needs
  • I am flexible when interacting with co-workers, partners and customers.
  • I am a role model for the Professional Work Standards

Compassion is an awareness of others’ needs together with a desire to help. It refers to a willingness to assist someone, without passing judgment, who is in need, sick, hungry, vulnerable or in trouble.

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • I listen attentively to what others have to say
  • I show concern for the well-being of others
  • I treat others with respect and dignity
  • I am accessible to others who need my assistance
  • I give my time and attention when needed
  • I respect and empathize with the diversity, beliefs, values and individual differences of others
  • I challenge prejudices and discover commonalities
  • I make time for things that will aid CSS in providing assistance to vulnerable Oklahomans
  • I acknowledge and thank others who assist me or CSS

Measuring Tools Through CSS Feedback

Employee Engagement: How do we get employees excited about the professional work standards and the work they do? How do supervisors help to ensure employees are engaged in their work and our agency and improve staff satisfaction?  Since employee support and engagement is critical to the foundation for excellence, what can we do to improve this?

Behavioral Expectations of Staff:

  • Employees are motivated by public service
  • Employees have a positive image of their workplace and the job they do
  • Employees find meaning in the work they do and are closely aligned to the mission and vison of our program
  • Managers are highly involved in the growth and development of their staff
  • Employees are satisfied and committed to their work.

Supervisory Support: What do Supervisors/Managers need in order to make professional work standards live in their offices? Supervisors are responsible for maintaining the culture within offices. Do we have expectations we want to implement around these standards? What support to supervisors need and what do we need supervisors to do to help us be successful?

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • Managers bring out the best in the people they manage
  • Managers having an open door
  • Employee “check-in” meetings
  • Stakeholder involvement on work groups
  • Mangers develop trust
  • Managers and employees are empowered to do their work
  • Managers understand and practice listening skills
  • Managers have the tools and resources to manage, coach and empower staff to “live” the Professional Work Standards.

Listening Posts: Where and when do you listen to your customers or each other?  Surveys?  Focus groups?  What do we do with the results so we can make data driven decisions?  What new ideas do we have for finding out what our external and internal customers expect and need from us and how we’re doing?

Behavioral expectations of staff:

  • Staff and managers are open to new ideas
  • Knowing how to have your voice be heard when proposing change, improvement or a new idea
  • Understand how to assess the needs of our internal and external customers
  • Ask internal and external customers how we’re doing and what do they need from us
  • Review and analyze the results for process improvements
  • Make data driven decisions from the results
  • Build a culture of customer feedback and process improvement

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