Office staff uniforms are a great benefit to any business. But many office staff have never had to wear uniforms. Here’s how to make the scheme stick and implement a uniform without a fuss.
Office staff uniforms help foster improved team unity and promote the business in a professional, consistent way. Whilst uniforms are generally accepted in certain sectors of office work, such as banking, staff in other sectors can be more reluctant to the idea.
Follow these steps to make sure your office staff uniforms are a success:
Start Small Explain The Benefits To The Employees Explain The Benefits To The Business Allow Certain Freedoms Stick With It & Use The Feedback
If you still aren’t confident or can still envisage some obstructive feedback coming your way, take a look at a little further explanation of how to make these steps work in practice…
Rome wasn’t built in a day and an office staff uniform policy should never be installed overnight.
Even if you work in a sector of office work where your competitors are all using uniforms, suddenly announcing that your business is going to wear uniforms is too big a change for most people.
Consult employees on what the uniforms should entail. How far should they go; one, two or three items worn per day? Should it be optional on Fridays? Should there be different items to choose from?
Gauge the opinion of staff and make sure you take the feedback on board when it comes to choosing your office wear items.
But, before that, begin by simply floating the idea that the business is looking into providing some sort of branded clothing in order to maximise team spirit and togetherness.
Don’t start touting the benefits to the business just yet.
2. Explain The Benefits To The Employees
From the somewhat superficial point that staff will no longer have to choose what to wear for work when the company has a uniform, to the more nuanced tax benefits that washing compulsory clothing brings; there are all sorts of benefits to employees.
It can save money for the individuals because they no longer need to buy additional clothing for work. Unless, of course, you use your legal right to charge staff for uniforms, but this isn’t best practice - especially if your staff are reluctant to accept uniforms as it is.
Any hierarchy and respect issues in the workplace can be undermined and resolved thanks to everybody having a uniform appearance. This reminds all parties at work that they are all part of the same team and working to the same end goal: a better business to secure their future.
This, in turn, makes for a stronger team spirit in your company. It will make for a better place to work because the uniform is a visual reminder of what each and every employee in the business has in common… they work together.
This can create a bond. And everyone agrees that employees who bond enjoy work more than those who don’t.
3. Explain The Benefits To The Business
Well, all of the benefits outlined in Point 2 result in better results for the business. This means that the office is a more productive and successful place of work.
This means that results are better, the business looks better from the outside and marketing efforts are easier. This also brings in more clients and improves business further.
The end result of the business benefitting from anything is that life gets better for its employees.
So, as the business benefits from increased teamwork, productivity and higher morale, it can start to repay its staff.
Remind the team: what benefits the business is actually a benefit to them, because they are the business.
4. Allow Certain Freedoms
That said, it’s probably a good idea to allow office staff who aren’t used to wearing uniforms a certain degree of freedom still.
Whilst there is the option of prescribing entire outfits for office staff, it’s easier and more encouraging to allow uniform items to be paired with employee-own clothing. You can still hold control over the final look, however, by including rules like: “Only wear navy or black trousers or skirts” or “Own shirts/blouses/tops can be worn as long as they have a colour and are in a complementary colour to the uniform items.”
Though some staff may need some sartorial guidance on the latter point!
But, the point being, allowing certain freedoms of choice within the uniform policy will still encourage free thinking and creative expression in the individuals who see uniforms as too oppressive.
If you’d like some assistance on crafting a uniform policy that complies or further reading on the benefits of uniforms for office staff, head here or here.
5. Stick With It & Use The Feedback
Finally, when all has been announced, staff have been consulted, employees have chosen their preferred office items to be embroidered with company information and it’s all arrived… you might still get a few disgruntled employees.
Stick with it, but engage the disgruntled employee(s) and reassure them and remind them that the benefits of uniforms massively outweigh the negatives.
If they come back with any feedback relating to customer impressions of the uniform, or anything else which can be substantiated, then make sure you take this on board and learn. You may need to adapt the branding or level of uniform items being worn: either by making the policy more or less strict.
If you have any concerns that you might be contravening an employee’s rights under The Equality Act 2010, read this guide to creating uniform policies.
Use The Right Branding Technique For Your Office Staff Uniforms
Different items of clothing and different types of brand styles suit different branding techniques: embroidery or the various print techniques.
If you’re creating a full collection of uniforms for office staff, it’s near-certain that you will need to use print techniques on some workwear items and embroidery on others.