While a uniform policy can have many benefits in the workplace, not every employee is going to be pleased with the changes all the time. That's an issue that can be fixed immediately with a sound complaints procedure.
When you allow employees to provide input for the new uniform policy, you will be in a better place of not receiving backlash.
But, even if you have had the input of employees in choosing colours, selected certain cuts, even brand of uniform garments it doesn't mean everything will go smoothly.
A uniform policy can bring countless complaints, so here's why you need a uniform complaints procedure.
If you're not doing anything about complaints, resentment can increase so the reasons why you need an official uniform complaints procedure include:
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- It Shows The Company Cares
- It Gives You A Chance To Amend Policies
- It Encourages Each Employee To Speak Up
- It Shows Employees Are Interested And Invested
- Allows You To Tackle Complaints At The Root
Free advertising, looking smarter, outlining unity and prioritising safety are just some of the benefits of deploying a work uniform policy. But then you have to take into account that over time, uniforms can become uncomfortable, sizing can become an issue and employees might prefer different styles for different seasons.
Having a complaints procedure in place immediately gives employees the feeling that the company actually cares about what they have to say.
It shows that the company isn't in it selfishly and for themselves, but that you and the management care about how they operate wearing the uniform, and whether or not they like the changes that have been made.
If you choose not to have a procedure to deal with complaints, how will you even know they exist?
This can give employees the assumption that their voices are being ignored on purpose, which causes resentment. Something like this can cause further negative backlash which can have an effect on their productivity, harming the company in the long-run.
Complaints shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. In fact, they should be encouraged so that you can take the relevant steps to fix any issues and make employee's working conditions better. If you have a procedure in place, you will have a log of all the complaints you receive and what you did to fix their queries.
Over time, you'll find you've previously dealt with types of complaint and be able to fix issues much quicker. The log within your complaints procedure effectively becomes a plan.
Having that open door policy builds a further level of communication, so that the employees know you can be relied upon and are always there to help.
A crucial stage in the deployment of a uniform policy is feedback.
If employees don't have a chance to provide feedback, then your policy may have a negative effect instead. If that's the case, having a complaints procedure gives you an opportunity to see how many employees have similar complaints.
For example, if one employee doesn't like the colour and 40 employees say the sizing is an issue - it's clear to see which complain you should prioritise.
Having a complaints procedure to deal with uniform grievances gives you the opportunity to amend the policy you created. That doesn't mean you have to start from scratch. Instead, collate all of the complaints and figure out which area of the policy needs amending.
If the policy states that employees only receive one uniform and the complaints are that they are having difficulties maintaining it, you might choose to amend the number of uniforms each employee receives in the policy. Or that the company will take responsibility for cleaning it.
It could result in you even changing the whole uniform if that's the best course of action.
At the end of the day, while uniforms are there to help employees, the policy is also there to improve the company. If complaining employees decrease their productivity and motivation, then it can have a negative impact on the company.
Having this procedure in place allows you to hear the complaints, hear the thoughts of the employees and amend to make policy that suits everyone's requirements.
Not every employee is going to be confident enough to speak up whenever they have a complaint. You need to take their feelings into account and not shut them out completely. There's nothing worse than having an employee suffer in silence because 1) they might not have the confidence to approach you with a complaint and 2) there's simply no avenue or procedure in place where they have an option to share a complaint.
Implementing a complaints procedure shows that you're interested in knowing the thoughts of every employee in the organisation. It gives them the confidentiality they need if they're not comfortable speaking up in front of everyone. And they'll be satisfied knowing that there is a solution there if they're not pleased with their uniform.
Giving employees a platform to share complaints about their uniform might even give you ideas you didn't think of when planning the uniform policy.
Eliminating that barrier between employees and management can help produce better ideas where you can brainstorm more efficient uniform solutions that will reduce the complaints.
Contrary to what you might think, employees that have complaints aren't bad employees. Employee complaints are a GOOD thing, they improves companies.
It shows that they're passionate about the company they're working in, they're invested in the role and they want you to make changes to make everyone's lives easier. When you have a uniform complaints procedure, you'd want employees to be walking through those doors with issues that they expect you to fix.
Obviously, you want employees to be enjoying their job and enjoy coming into work. Happy employees are productive employees and the entire business benefits.
However, you won't be aware of complaints if there's no procedure to make you aware of what part of the uniform or the policy as a whole is making them unhappy.
If you do have that procedure and you're regularly seeing employees complaining about the uniform, that's actually a positive sign.
It shows they care about the outcome of the company, otherwise they wouldn't be complaining in the first place. Not giving employees a chance to complain can lead to backlash, or they could lose interest in their jobs completely.
Plus, if there's no procedure for uniform complaints then employees might be more prone to uniform rules violations to make a point.
Not tackling uniform complaints can cause a negative domino effect. Employees can grow restless, it can decrease their productivity and they can lose interest in their job. All simply because they have nowhere to make their voices heard. By having a uniform complaints procedure in your company, it allows you to tackle every complaint at its root.
While complaints are a good thing, repeatedly hearing the same complaint means you haven't actually fixed the problem. Regardless of the uniform issue, hearing one complaint time and time again from different employees means you're able to find the root of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it.
Without a complaints procedure in place, you'd never be aware of any bigger issues with employees' uniforms. If they simply have no way of making you aware of the problems they're facing, you can't fix anything.
But if your procedures for handling complaints from employees are robust, you'll see a happier, more productive workforce. You'll probably see a better ROI on your uniform purchase too.