In order to implement a uniform, you need a uniform policy letter. Studies show that uniforms enhance a number of things such as your company’s image, security on site and team unity. The best way to get your employees on board is by making them part of the process. You should not have a one size fits all approach. Let them choose the style, fit and size.
Here is what you need to include in your uniform policy letter:
- An Introduction
- An Opportunity for Employees to Provide Feedback
- The Scope of the Policy
- Policy Elements
- Disciplinary Consequences
- The Policy Effect Date
You need to explain why you think having a uniform policy in the workplace will benefit your employees. You can base these benefits on what you and your employees have said in meetings and discussions with your employees about their new work uniform. By not providing why these valid reasons are a good idea, your employees and unlikely to accept the new policy.
Here are some sample reasons you may include:
- Uniforms represent professionalism and authority.
- Customers can easily identify who works for the company.
- The workplace will be safer. You will know who belongs to what area.
- There will be consistency throughout the workplace.
- We will provide your uniforms for free.
- They create a sense of unity, company pride and ownership
- You no longer need to worry about what to wear
- Uniforms are free advertising for the company
It is important you choose uniform that flatters different body types and allow employees input. Also, you can provide several options such as polos, t-shirts and shirts.
You need to create an opportunity for feedback in your uniform policy letter. Also, encourage your staff to speak about the policy before it goes into effect.
You can include, for example, you have provided three different feedback opportunities throughout the year and given them x amount of time to prepare for the policy’s effective date. You can also say that you have received their feedback and taken it onboard.
It is important your staff feel part of the uniform policy process. If not, there may be problems further down the line.
To state the scope of the uniform policy, you need to create a statement. This statement needs to explain who the policy will effect and provide reasons. For example, a nurse may wear a certain colour of scrubs and a doctor another.
In the policy elements section, you will establish the standard. You will explain what you expect each employee to wear every day. Consider some of the following samples:
- Jewellery and body piercings are admissible in good taste and moderation.
- A balance of self-expression and uniformity is okay and non-natural hair colour is allowed.
- Closed-toe shoes are required for all employees.
- All employees must be clean and well-groomed.
- Grooming styles dictated by religion and ethnicity will not be affected.
- Uniforms must be maintained and be clean and in good shape.
- Any tears, rips, or holes are not allowed.
- Ask for a replacement uniform.
- We will give each employee five uniforms of his or her choosing.
The above are examples of some statements that are advisable to make. You will also want to outline the specific uniforms used in each department. For example, are there three types of shirts available? Polos, t-shirts, and long-sleeves jumpers? Will you also provide jackets and/or hoodies with logos as well? Make sure your employees know what uniform you expect and what is available for them to choose.
There may be some employees who are still against the uniform policy. It is important to include disciplinary consequences should they should not follow it. You can decide what is a breech of the policy.
An example of a disciplinary consequence is:
- Send them home / give them spares
- Keep count and after repeated violation offer termination
- You need to decide based on the damage that employee has caused to your company.
It is important you include the date of when the uniform policy will come into effect. Send the policy letters to your employees at least three months before that date, again after a month and then a week before.
After your uniform policy letter is in place, send out a company wide email with the formal policy attached. Also, let your employees know that they can pick up a printed copy of the policy too.
Remember, you need to order the new uniforms before the effective date.