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How to Convince Your Staff that Work Uniform is a Good Idea

Implementing a new work uniform policy can cause staff to be apprehensive. Understandable when you think about it. You're MAKING them wear clothes they wouldn't pick for themselves. What are you? Their father?

And just like a parent of a stroppy teen, you might get backlash simply for trying to do what's best for everyone.

Here are three easy ways to convince your staff that work uniform is actually a really good idea.

Start Small

It is understandable that your employees might be a little reluctant to embrace their new work uniforms, especially if you have no form of branded company clothing.

Start by offering your staff something small and practical, such as a company branded fleece.

Explain they should wear these when visiting clients or at work when it is cold. Also, let your staff know that this is part of a re-branding exercise and engage with them about the benefits of work uniform to the whole organisation.

Explain the Cost & Why it is Happening

After notifying your staff about a uniform related change, explain the cost of uniforms and why this is happening.

The more honest and up front about the process you are with your staff, the less backlash you will receive.

Be prepared for questions and answer the questions asked. You might hear things such as:

  • Why are you introducing a work uniform policy?
  • What is the issue you're trying to solve?
  • Is it hierarchical or professionalism you are trying to address?
  • Do we have to wear it all the time at work?

These will likely be the same question you asked yourself whilst deciding on a work uniform for your staff.

Explain where this idea has come from, what problems you've noticed in the business and why you have chosen work uniform to rectify it. You can use examples to show your staff to help explain the benefits of them wearing the company brand a work.

Accept their thoughts and try to show some consideration and allowances in response. 

You can then explain the cost of work uniform items and what your policy will be. We suggest providing some initial sets of uniform clothing for your staff, because this is the simplest way of managing it.

Legally, you can charge your staff for their work uniform. However, this can cause discontent, lead to poor morale, and even staff retention issues.

Let Your Staff Choose

Take on board any uniform design ideas and choices made by your staff. Let them have a say in the styles, colours, and items in their uniform. There's a good chance they know your customers better than you do and know what they'll respond best to.

A bank in Australia offered a range of items for their staff to wear with a connecting colour palette, but still allows individuality.

Image shows Westpac employees in their uniform style
Westpac Bank in Australia use a uniform style rather than specific items.

Allowing your staff to choose from the pre-arranged items will achieve the results you desire, but also keep your staff happy.

If you want a complete uniform appearance, ask your staff to choose from a range and then order samples to try before placing the full order. Samples can be deducted from your final order, if branded in the same style as the intended final items, so there is no wasted spend.

When choosing the work uniform for your team, remember that body shapes and styles are all different from one person to the next. Keep things neutral by letting staff have a big say in their new work uniform so they are comfortable with what they wear to work.

Conclusion

It is important to answer any questions asked by your staff. Let your staff get involved with choosing their uniform to make sure that they are comfortable with wearing it.

Make sure you start with something small and slowly introduce the new work uniform. Whilst doing this, you can explain the cost of the work wear items you are implementing and why you are introducing them.