Yes Your Company Does Need a Dress Policy: Part 2

No matter what your business climate, whether formal or informal, a dress policy should be part of the company mode of operations.  With uniforms the dress policy would likely address hygiene, jewelry, tattoos, body piercings, hosiery and shoes if not provided.  Further, if implementing uniforms for your business will the conduct of the employee outside the business in the uniform be an issue?  For example, would the employee be able to wear the uniform to and from work and would they be able to drink in public with the uniform on?

In writing your dress policies follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify your company needs and how the dress policy will achieve the desired results.
  2. Communicate what your company dress policy is and what that policy means.
  3. List acceptable attire for men and women in explicit detail.  Break it down by categories such as pants/skirts, suits, shirts/blouses, shoes/hosiery/socks, accessories and grooming.
  4. List unacceptable attire and hygienic habits for men and women.  Use the same categories to eliminate confusion.
  5. List how the policy will be enforced.
  6. Finally, provide a statement to the effect that management is available to employees to discuss, in private, individual concerns and that every effort will be made to accommodate special situations.

Company dress policies in the past have been a problem because they were not explicit enough.  Being abstract gives employees too much latitude and brings about abuses of the policy resulting in a negative business environment.  Hence, it is important for employers to decide what their company stands for and the desired business climate they want to achieve with employees and customers in development of a meaningful dress policy that all can benefit by.

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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

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