A uniform policy impacts everyone in the organization and the business at large. Here’s how you can maintain full uniform compliance across your company.
An employee uniform is the in-person representation of your organization’s brand. This means that any violations, from unclean to mismatched uniforms, can reflect poorly on your business — or, even worse, confuse your customers. As much as your leadership might understand the importance of a uniform policy, many employees might not comprehend just how beneficial a clean and standardized image can be to your organization, your customers and themselves. This lack of understanding is one of the primary causes of policy non-compliance and, unfortunately, can be contagious. Here are four tips to help you create a proactive uniform policy that involves your employees and addresses violations as fairly as possible.
1. Represent All Job Types
Consider the nature of each level of employees’ work and choose an applicable uniform that will allow them to be comfortable and unlimited in mobility. For example, workers who are bending and lifting or operating machinery all day require different considerations than those working a desk job. If employees see their uniforms as more of a necessary tool in performing their jobs as opposed to a baseless requirement, they will likely be more motivated to comply with your uniform policy.
Once you’ve taken your employees’ job functions into consideration, take a look at what uniform trends are popular in workwear and specifically in your industry. Selecting a uniform that is both functional and trendy may help your employees feel more confident when representing your brand, which will make them more likely to wear their uniform consistently.
2. Ask Your Employees
When you have a better idea of what might work well for your employees and brand, consider forming a team with representation from all levels of your organization. Present your findings to them, and ask them what they think about your uniform choices. You may find that you overlooked something that makes a specific uniform style uncomfortable or inappropriate for the job.
The best way to avoid uniform policy violations is to be proactive and start with the people who will be most invested in the process—your employees. They will be the most heavily impacted by any final uniform decisions you make. Additionally, knowing that a policy was based on more than managerial input can encourage better compliance.
3. Communicate Clearly
In your policy, make sure to explain the reasons for your choices so your employees understand why they are being asked to wear the uniform selections that have been made. It can also be helpful to ask for regular input or allow for suggestions to be submitted so that employees never feel disconnected from what they’re required to wear.
Your policy should also include a discipline system that is applied fairly and consistently. Remember that you can implement options that range from administering warnings to requiring an employee to be sent home to change.
Clear communication in all areas around policy creation and enforcement encourages an environment more conducive to compliance.
4. Address Violation Issues with Care
If you think an employee has actually violated the policy, take time to observe their dress standards to be sure that a violation has actually taken place before taking action. If a violation has occurred, you should have a manager speak to the employee in an area away from coworkers to maintain discretion and a level of confidentiality, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Be sure to clarify that the employee understands the dress code and that they have been in violation. During the conversation, make sure to stick to the facts of the policy without getting into personal details or judgment calls. Taking care to find out why the employee violated the dress code will also be important.
As a general rule, remember to be fair, communicate clearly and often, and include your employees in your decisions. By doing so, you’ll create a uniform policy that not only benefits your organization, but also your employees.