Enforcing a uniform policy in the workplace can often get some negative backlash, especially since employees might feel these rules are being forced upon them for no reason. The only way a uniform policy can be successfully deployed is if every step is carefully taken, ranging from team communication and sending the policy letter, right through to the evaluation stage. However, it's also important to highlight to the workforce that adopting a uniform can have some major benefits that not only help them, but also the company you're all working for as well. We're not talking about your usual looking smart and saving money benefits - there are 6 benefits of uniforms in the workplace that you didn't know.
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Saving costs and looking professional are important benefits, but these same ones are told time and time again and they probably aren't what you want to communicate with the team. Instead, focus on emphasising the benefits that aren't as common and could get the whole team motivated to adopt a new uniform policy. These include:
With these benefits come greater rewards, both for your company along with the workforce that will now be wearing a uniform.
Providing your workforce with an attractive and comfortable uniform not only shows that you care about them, how they look and feel, but also enhances their self-esteem, improves their attitude and boosts their morale. If a uniform is ill-fitting and unappealing, it can eat away at employee pride and enthusiasm.
On the other hand, a well-fitted, high-quality and stylish uniform can do wonders for their morale and self-esteem as they will be motivated to maintain and wear their uniforms, and that increases their motivation to complete their daily tasks to a high standard.
Keeping employees involved in the decision-making process of a uniform is a big step towards this particular benefit, as their input will ensure you end up with a more desirable and popular uniform which the employees will take ownership of, thus improving performance, confidence and morale.
While an assumption might be that employees wearing their own clothes from their own wardrobe will make them work to a higher standard, that's not necessarily the case. Uniforms are a great way to increase your employees' productivity by providing a sense of belonging, keeping them safe and making them happy. Plus, a study published in the Scientific American found that dress can influence work performance, where individuals dressed in a formal manner performed better in tasks than those wearing casual clothes.
Obviously, simply throwing a uniform at them won't increase productivity. Again, input from the workforce goes a long way and that could include colours they like, or certain fits they would want to feel more comfortable. The way in which a uniform increases productivity is that it establishes a work frame of mind, and helps them get into that working mindset as opposed to casual clothing potentially risking productivity because they're staying in 'home mode.'
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This is a big consideration for any company wanting to implement a uniform policy. Simply having a clear logo on a comfortable, stylish uniform will make your employees want to wear it proudly and that helps promote your company. It helps your company become instantly recognisable, and works as a way of free advertising rather than having to invest heavily in other areas to further promote the business.
Uniforms with company branding are an effective marketing tool, and this was shown in a study from Ashwini K. Poojary from the Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University, Boston. He explained that enhancing knowledge of customers about branding on a uniform through marketing initiatives helps companies like yours develop a positive brand attitude in the customer which can end up increased sales. His study of several industries found that:
- 56.1% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than internet advertising
- 73.5% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than TV advertising
- 74.4% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than radio advertising
- 75.7% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than billboard advertising
- 55% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than the Yellow Pages
- 71.5% of respondents stated that uniforms are more effective than newspaper advertising
While your employees must always be in mind when creating a uniform that they will be wearing, it shows that it can benefit them in many ways while also having a positive impact on your company in return. And the by-product is that the company grows into a bigger and better place for employees. It's win-win.
Deploying a uniform policy has an additional benefit of improving the overall security of your workforce. For example, if your company has several departments and each department has a different uniform style or colour, then you can easily identify which employee doesn't belong in a particular department and could be placing themselves in unnecessary danger. If your company is one which does have hazardous environments, then by purchasing uniforms which have innovative materials to combat any dangers also improves the safety of those wearing it.
Plus, it makes employees more conscious of their actions when wearing a company uniform, especially if they're in public. When employees know they are easily identifiable via their uniforms, they are more aware of their actions and won't risk doing anything that shines the company in a negative light. This isn't something you want to communicate with the employees, as the overall aim of this point could backfire if they're made aware of it. However, it's definitely a benefit to the business.
Companies that have a uniform policy in place where each employee is wearing the same uniform is a good step towards creating unity and fostering a team spirit. We see this with schoolchildren and even sports teams, as a uniform makes people feel like they belong. If your workforce is feeling like they are working towards the same goals and they have a unified look, then they will feel more aligned with the company values and also improve their productivity.
It shows that everyone is equal and are part of the same group, so they will begin to act in that way with employees becoming entwined with your company. This can ultimately lead to greater success for the company and also increases employee loyalty, especially since they'll have a sense of pride and responsibility because they know they're representing the company.
Having work uniforms can eliminate social barriers in the workplace too. By having uniforms, you're helping build team unity, rather than having a policy that can create judgement in the workplace and will also help contribute to healthier peer relationships to lead to a more productive working environment. Whether it's from a social or psychological perspective, uniforms in the workplace can steer the perception of a customer towards your workforce. A uniform gives off the impression of authority and knowledge and when customers instantly recognise your employees and trust them and their knowledge, they gain more confidence which makes them more productive to keep that high standard of work up.
One of the reasons why employees might not be on board when it comes to a uniform policy is because they believe it could increase the cost of maintaining the uniforms. The fact that your company has implemented a uniform policy suggests that a uniform will be compulsory and not optional. If this is the case, then a benefit of this is that employees can claim tax relief in order to maintain and wash them, so emphasise that it won't mean employees are losing money.
A tax relief is something that can get employees on board with a compulsory uniform, as it eliminates the worry of having to spend money on maintaining their uniforms as they'll be aware that there are methods in place where they can receive assistance. This benefits both the company and the employees, as they receive financial help while the company achieves the goals that are set and reap the other benefits that come with the implementation of a uniform policy.
Need Help When Ordering A Uniform And Rolling Out The Policy? We can help...
Taking all of the benefits into account, the next step is to create and finally roll out your very own uniform policy. Don't just dive into it, though. A uniform policy takes a lot of careful planning. This includes talking it through with staff, explaining why a uniform policy is being implemented and how to document things properly. In our free pack, we've included plenty of information ranging from a uniform policy letter guideline to a questionnaire and a checklist of items you may need.
Download your FREE copy of the uniform policy pack today.