Many offices operate with a dress code of one kind or another, and making sure your employees adhere to it can sometimes be tricky. Much depends upon whether or not your staff comes into direct contact with your clients or customers, if there are religious situations to consider, or if you have any disabled staff. There’s actually a lot to consider when it comes to dress code. However, ensuring that your employees represent your business well is crucial as well. Here are some ways you can get your employees to WANT to adhere to the dress code, making your job a lot easier.
It helps if your employees can be part of the dress code decision-making.
When a dress code feels arbitrary, and staff feels they haven’t been considered, there is often going to be dissent and code breakers. If you can, let the staff help decide what clothes should be worn and when. If your type of business permits, it is often nice to have one day in the week – often it is Friday – where your employees can be more casual and the dress code is not enforced.
Enforce the dress code on an individual basis.
Take into consideration whether or not your workers have religious beliefs that require special dress and allow them to dress appropriately for them. If you have handicapped staff or employees that are challenged in some way that necessitates certain clothing, give them permission to wear what they need to function optimally. Respecting your employees’ needs will give them more motivation to be productive for you.
Deal with “rule breakers” individually.
If you have dissenters who refuse to conform to the dress code, try to work with them. Especially if they are good and/or promising workers, you want to speak with them about the dress code, before you suspend or fire them. Giving staff a chance to make amends is the fairest way to go to start. A gentle reprimand for the first infraction may solve the problem, and you won’t need to take punishment any further.
The bottom line is that a dress code can be flexible only if you are. Being unreasonable doesn’t make good sense, and isn’t good business.