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Should you establish a uniform for your business?

Should you establish a uniform for your business?

Corporate uniforms are commonplace in many industries, whether as a safety precaution, to signify levels of hierarchy or to help customers identify store clerks. Even if your business is not part of one of those industries, a uniform – or at least a dress code – can still help your staff feel they are part of a team. Here's how to decide whether you should implement a dress policy, and how to find the right balance between team unity and strict enforcement.

Are your employees visiting people off-site?

Uniforms and dress codes are all but essential if you are selling a service that requires your staff to visit people in their home or workplace. A uniform lets customers know they are dealing with a genuine representative and it strengthens your brand by displaying the look of a professional, well-established business.

A business uniform will almost certainly be expected if you are providing a service such as home maintenance or in-home health care, as it reassures the client they are in safe hands.

What would your staff prefer?

In some workplaces, such as higher learning and research organisations, there is more likely to be resistance to a dress code – and if one does exist, it’s usually for safety reasons. But in many other workplaces, a corporate dress code can actually be embraced by staff as a source of pride in their company and the work they do.

A uniform can also be convenient, freeing employees from having to choose an appropriate outfit each morning. Corporate workwear also needn’t be head to toe – you might have employees wearing a uniform shirt, but free to choose their own pants and shoes. Such flexibility can be fine as long as the overall look is consistent with your brand.

A dress code may also be the most appropriate option for ethical and legal reasons, ensuring that employees are suitably covered and protected from inappropriate comments or harassment.

Who covers the cost?

With most corporate uniforms, employees will expect their employer to cover the costs. In addition, a cleaning allowance should be provided if the work environment is likely to make the clothes dirty.

As well as playing a role in safety, uniforms can be an essential part of your company’s branding and promotion. Even a basic dress code can help employees convey a sense of consistency and professionalism, and in the process make a great first impression with customers.

Establishing a dress code could foster a new sense of team spirit among your employees. Learn how to make sure they’ll communicate openly with you.

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