After months of planning, either the company’s new uniform policy is in full effect or the day is edging nearer. Each employee is expected to adhere to this policy and how they appear is a representation of the service your business will offer to other potential customers when they are seen wearing a uniform. There are plenty of benefits to creating a uniform policy, such as saving money, creating a bond and even further developing company culture, but that’s only possible if the policy is maintained in the first place. So, who’s actually responsible for maintaining a uniform policy?
Employees can only follow the policy if the policy is always up to date. If there’s nobody in the company that cares about the policy, then employees and staff won’t feel the need to follow the regulations in place and you’ll be taking two steps back. If it’s important to enforce a policy, then it’s equally as important to maintain it. That responsibility doesn’t fall on senior management who want the new policy and the staff who are expected to start wearing a uniform aren’t responsible for it either.
It rests on the shoulders of the relevant body in between, which means it’ll be you - working in the personnel/HR department. You’re maintaining and developing HR processes which means one of the big tasks you’ll be expected to stay on is ensuring the uniform policy is effective.
Why It’s HRs Responsibility To Maintain The Policy
In most organisations, staff members often don’t have direct communication with senior management who have made the decision to implement the policy. As the ‘middleman’ who’s in constant communication between both staff and senior management, the responsibility falls on your shoulders to keep staff aware of the changes coming into place and continue to update them, as well as keeping management informed on how employees are responding to the change in policy, both positive and negative.
HR or personnel staff are the first port of call for staff members that aren’t happy with working conditions, and part of your job is to listen to their needs and protect their rights along with reducing staff turnover and measuring their happiness. They can’t go and complain to senior management right away, and at the same time, they can’t walk up to them and tell them how happy they are with the changes. So, you’d be the one taking all of the feedback on board and delivering it to senior management who then make a decision on which steps to take next.
While this can lead to company dispute by feeling the need to appease both parties equally, it’s important to find the right balance between following HR law and what it says about uniforms for employees, but still focus on their needs and how to keep them all happy with this new initiative. This can include providing a uniform which looks comfortable yet stylish to appease the staff, while also pleasing senior management because of how it reflects on their brand or business. While staff need to maintain a professional appearance, it’s not their role to focus on the policy, maintain or even update it where necessary - they can simply follow it and provide feedback where necessary, while senior management simply won’t have the time to maintain the policy so it’s down to you to progress the new initiative.
Why It’s Important You Maintain The Policy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in HR regarding the policy is if you simply implement it, but never look at it ever again. If employees aren’t reminded about the policy consistently, they won’t take it seriously and it can reflect negatively on the business because it will go down as a failed policy. It’s also important you maintain this policy because there might be changes you’ll be making, such as a change of colour or letting employees know that they’ll have a wider variety to choose from moving forward, for example.
It’s equally important to maintain the policy because it provides you with a chance to receive feedback from the employees. Ask them what they like or don’t like about the uniform selection or anything they dislike about the policy in general.
This might include them telling you the quality of their uniform isn’t the best, or they could even say it’s the best decision the company has made in a while, or even provide suggestions on how to improve. If this isn’t maintained, then employees can get disgruntled with senior management because they aren’t being looked after as they would like to be because of a lack of communication, and it shows that neither you or senior management care about how wearing a uniform now affects them.
Listening to their feedback regularly - even when a policy has been in effect for months - is a good way to determine how to make necessary changes quickly and effectively. This is extremely beneficial as maintaining the policy results in better feedback and that can be adjusted to help bring new employees on board, while satisfying those currently following the policy.
Do you want to know what your company’s uniforms could look like? Send us your logo and we can create you a free custom visual, giving you a much better understanding of what your uniform will look like. A custom visual is an initial step to getting employees on board and giving them an opportunity to provide early feedback.
How Do You Maintain The Policy?
Working in HR means the policy needs to be continually updated and maintained, it’s important to understand how this process needs to be completed. Again, listening to employees regularly is an important way to maintain the policy as it’s an opportunity to reduce the complaints by taking feedback on board, and it allows you to make the changes you need, if any. If the policy helps them feel valued by the company as they’re proud to wear the logo, then it can eliminate another HR issue by decreasing staff turnover and it can increase their productivity.
Another way to maintain the policy is by continually considering the nature of each level of employees’ work, allowing you to adjust uniforms if necessary based on the type of role they’re in. For example, warehouse workers will need different uniform compared to those sat inside of an office. If the policy outlines that a uniform isn’t a baseless requirement and is a necessary tool to perform their jobs, they will be more motivated to comply with the policy.
Finally, addressing violations is an important way to maintain the policy as it allows you to observe dress standards over a period of time before taking action. You may choose to hand out an updated letter which outlines the policy in more detail, highlighting what the punishments are for failing to adhere to the policy - although, conversations regarding a violation should be confidential. If the policy doesn’t address the violations, then you won’t be creating a uniform policy which benefits your business or the employees.
Having Trouble Placing A Large Uniform Order?
XAMAX® can help. You can download our Workwear Buying guide for free, and you can also contact us by telephone where our experienced representatives will be there to help you with your order, as well as advise you on the types of uniforms we have available.