In business, first impressions count, especially when it comes to attracting new clients. In fact, research has shown that most people make up their mind about a person within about seven seconds of their first encounter. Unfortunately, if your employees are clad in mismatching t-shirts and torn jeans, it might not do your company any favors. Here are five things to remember before you implement a new office dress code, so that your workers can send the right message:
Consider Body Type
Every employee has a different level of personal comfort, which is why it is important to think about body types before you choose a company uniform. Sure, that tank top might look fine on some of your thinner employees, but how will that guy with a weight problem feel about going sleeveless? To avoid problems, try to choose an outfit that would flatter a large variety of body types. For example, most people would feel comfortable in a branded T-shirt and a nice pair of slacks, while skin-tight shorts might make some of your employees run for the hills.
Dress the Part
Your dress code will do more than send signals about your business. Believe it or not, employees take behavioral cues from the way they are asked to dress for work. When employees feel like they look smart and professional, they will act smart and professional. In fact, a recent study outlined in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that participants who were dressed in what they thought was a doctor’s coat displayed a heightened sense of attention, compared to their counterparts who thought it was a painter’s coat. When selecting a dress code, try to imagine what your ideal employee would be wearing. When people dress the part, they might act the part too.
Make Your Employees Easy to Identify
When you choose a dress code, don’t forget to think of things from a customer’s perspective. Think about your store, restaurant, or business, and what clothing colors would stand out. Employees should be easy to identify out of a crowd, so that your customers can get the help they need, when they need it. One great way to make your employees easy to identify is by having them wear a hat, jacket, or apron. Small nametags might look sleek, but they can be easy to overlook—especially if the uniform you chose blends into the background. If you are worried about spending a boatload on uniforms, you shouldn’t be. Many retailers offer coupons and discounts for employers who order in bulk. For ones that don’t offer bulk discounts, look for coupons or promo codes online. For example, DiscounTrue offers yoox.com promo codes that include free shipping on orders.
By thinking carefully about your employee dress code, you might be able to maintain a professional look, without making any of your employees feel uncomfortable.