Wondering about implementing a new workwear uniform policy into your business? Or simply just thinking about changing your current one? This post outlines the benefits and drawbacks of kitting your team out in uniforms or introducing a casual dress code. See which one works for you.
Specific Workwear Uniforms
A uniform is prescriptive and ensures that everyone is dressed in the same way. This can be company provided free of charge or staff can have the costs deducted from their pay. There are several benefits:
Depending on your industry, uniforms will vary a large amount. But one thing that doesn’t change from job to job is that smart uniforms make your business look professional. For industries like construction, your uniform is a walking billboard for the company and it will cement your place (sorry) in the public’s eye as a well-established, successful business.
Just as sports teams and school children wear uniforms to promote unity, businesses are no different. By introducing a uniform policy, your employees will then feel a true sense of belonging. If your team are all working towards the same goals, dressed in the same uniform, then they will feel more aligned with company values.
Wearing a work uniform is a reminder to the human brain that you’re going to work. It’s a constant reminder of who you’re working for too, so it gives a sense of accountability. With these two in mind, employees will then be more focused which will have a positive effect on efficiency and productivity levels.
But this isn’t always the case.
It’s a good idea to have variations of your uniform that your employees can choose from - for example, shorts and lightweight cotton polo shirts for outdoor workers.
Establish Company Brand
Employees are easily recognisable if a customer needs help. For front-facing, customer-based companies, having a uniform that establishes company brand may be an excellent idea. Think of Foot Locker and their instantly recognisable referee-like uniforms.
However, be sure to have employee input on this point, such as providing uniform options,ensuring the uniform is both stylish and comfortable - and flatters most body types.
Certain industries require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), so it’s a must that you implement a uniform policy which caters for this. From road maintenance workers to hotel cleaners, there are different measures that can be put in place that prioritise safe dress.
Casual Dress Code
A dress code still achieves a similar appearance, but the specific items being worn are not identical. For example, “white shirt and black trousers” rather than a company issued, branded shirt and trousers. This has its own added benefits:
A dress code allows your employees to be flexible in what they wear to work. This in turn allows them to express themselves which brings out a degree of personality too.
By allowing your staff to wear what they like (within the guidelines), you will no doubt see a boost in morale which can only mean good things for your business.
However, there needs to be some boundaries. The whole idea of a dress code is for your team to feel as comfortable as possible, but it can sometimes become too casual. Ensure that your dress code outlines that clothes worn aren’t too scruffy or revealing, as this will give off the totally wrong impression about your business.
It’s easy for this method to become subjective but if you communicate your desires effectively there will be less confusion.
As everybody in the workplace will be dressed in the similar but personal attire, in theory, there should be no differentiation between the hierarchical layers of the business. Your team will massively appreciate this as they feel like they are on a level with the senior management, which makes them seem more approachable and willing to help right down the employee structure of the company.
In an office environment, especially, this can prove to make a huge difference.
With a dress code, comfort is key. When buying uniforms for every employee, there’s bound to be somebody who doesn’t like it or somebody who it doesn’t fit quite right. By letting your team choose what they wear, it allows them to be comfortable 100 percent of the time.
Providing a range of clothes for your employees to choose from allows them to be comfortable in all different temperature types. A great example of this is Royal Mail. Over the year, you’ll see postmen out delivering in branded fleeces, raincoats, jumpers and shorts. This is perfect for all weathers so they can still get a great job done while looking smart. It’s still a uniform, but there’s that much choice, it creates a “uniform look” but with flexibility.
Summer’s Here, Are You Ready?
Now that you’ve got your team’s uniform choice boxed off, it’s time to focus on the other important factors that need changing now summer is here. The warmer temperatures crop up different potential hazards and risks to your staff. In order to keep them working at maximum productivity and efficiency levels, download our FREE summer guide below and find out how you can properly protect them.