While a uniform policy can have many benefits in the workplace, not every employee is going to be pleased with the changes all the time. However, that's an issue that can be fixed immediately. As long as employees provide input when the new policy has been announced, you will put yourself in a better place of not receiving employee backlash. However, even if employees have provided input, chosen colours and even selected certain cuts, it doesn't mean everything will go smoothly. A uniform policy can bring countless complaints, so here's why you need a uniform complaints procedure.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Free advertising, looking smarter, outlining unity and prioritising safety are just some of the benefits of deploying a uniform policy. But then you have to take into account that over time, uniforms can become uncomfortable, sizing can become an issue and employees might prefer different styles for different seasons, for example. If you're not doing anything about complaints, resentment can increase so the reasons why you need an official uniform complaints procedure include:
Having a complaints procedure in place immediately gives employees the feeling that the company actually cares about them. It shows that the company isn't in it selfishly and for themselves, but that you and the management care about how they operate wearing the uniform, and whether or not they like the changes that have been made.
If you choose not to have a procedure to deal with countless complaints, how will you even know they exist? This can cause resentment as it gives employees the assumption that their voices are not being heard on purpose. Something like this can cause further negative backlash which can have an effect on their productivity. This will harm the company in the long-run.
Complaints shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. In fact, they should be encouraged so that you can take the relevant steps to fix any issues and make their working conditions much better. If you have that procedure in place, you can have a log of all the complaints you receive and what you did to fix their queries. Having that open door builds a further level of communication, so that the employees know you can be relied upon and are always there to help.
A crucial stage in the deployment of a uniform policy is feedback. If employees don't have a chance to provide feedback, then your policy may have a negative effect instead because they have nobody to speak up to. If that's the case, then having a complaints procedure gives you an opportunity to see how many employees have similar complaints. For example, if one employee doesn't like the colour and 40 employees say the sizing is an issue - it's clear to see which complain you should prioritise.
Having a complaints procedure to deal with countless grievances gives you the opportunity to amend the policy you have created. That doesn't mean you have to start from scratch. Instead, collate all of the complaints and figure out which area of the policy needs amending. If the policy states that employees only receive one uniform and the complaints are that they are having difficulties maintaining it, you might choose to amend the policy which states employees will receive more uniforms. Or that the company will take cleaning responsibilities and it could result in you even changing the whole uniform if that's the best course of action.
At the end of the day, while uniforms are there to help employees, the policy is also there to improve the company. If employee complaints will decrease their productivity and decrease their motivation, then it can have a negative impact on the company. Having this procedure in place allows you to hear the complaints, hear the thoughts of the employees and amend to make policy that suits everyone's requirements.
Not every employee is going to be confident to speak up whenever they have a complaint. You need to take their feelings into account and not shut them out completely. There's nothing worse than having an employee suffer in silence because one, they might not have the confidence to approach you with a complaint and two, there's simply no avenue or procedure in place where they have an option to share a complaint.
Implementing a complaints procedure shows that you're interested in knowing the thoughts of every employee in the organisation. It gives them the confidentiality they might want if they're not comfortable speaking up in front of everyone, while they'll be satisfied knowing that there is a solution there if they're not pleased with their uniform.
Giving employees a platform to share complaints about their uniform might even give you ideas you didn't think of when planning the uniform policy. Eliminating that barrier between employees and management can help produce better ideas where you can brainstorm more efficient uniform solutions that will reduce the complaints.
Employees that have numerous complaints aren't bad employees. It shows that they're passionate about the company they're working in, they're invested in the role and they want you to make the necessary changes that will make their working lives much easier. When you have a uniform complaints procedure in place, you'd want employees to be walking through those doors with issues that they expect you to fix - within reason.
Obviously, you want employees to be enjoying their job and enjoy coming into work. However, you won't be aware of the uniform complaints they have if there's no procedure where they can make you aware of what part of the uniform or the policy as a whole is making them unhappy. If you do have that procedure and you're regularly seeing employees complaining about the uniform, that's still a positive sign.
It shows they care about the outcome of the company, otherwise they wouldn't be complaining in the first place. Not giving employees a chance to complain can lead to backlash, or they could lose interest in their jobs in the long-run. Plus, if there's no procedure for uniform complaints then employees might be more prone to dress code violations because there's no way they can share their thoughts.
Not tackling uniform complaints can cause a negative domino effect. Employees can grow restless, it can decrease their productivity and they can lose interest in their job - simply because they have nowhere to make the complaints. By having a uniform complaints procedure in your company, it allows you to tackle every complaint at its root.
While complaints are a good thing, repeatedly hearing the same complaint means you haven't actually fixed the problem. Regardless of the uniform issue, hearing one complaint time and time again from different employees means you're able to find the root of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it. An itchy logo on a t-shirt might not just be on one t-shirt, it could be a defect from the manufacturer which means the whole uniform order needs to be recalled or replaced.
Without a complaints procedure in place, you'd never be aware of any bigger issues with employees' uniforms as they simply have no way of making you and the company aware of the problems they're facing.
Not Sure Where To Begin When Deploying A Uniform Policy? Xamax Can Help.
Our latest guide includes everything you need to know about successfully deploying a uniform policy in your workplace. We've designed a uniform policy pack to help you introduce your team to the idea of wearing uniforms, rolling out the policy while keeping your team involved at every stage of the process.