With the kids going back to school only a matter of weeks away, I’ve been assessing what school uniform still fits and what new items need to be purchased.
This has culminated in some heated discussions with my daughter about why the school insists that a set uniform is worn and got me thinking about why many employers also insist that their employees wear a uniform.
Uniforms and dress codes are standard practice in many workplaces worldwide, but why is there a need to define work clothing?
Sense of unity and equality
Work uniforms promote a sense of team spirit and belonging. When employees wear a uniform, regardless of position or financial status, employees feel a sense of unity and equality. Clothing is a key social class differentiator, which can create tension and jealousy. Removing this element can therefore contribute to healthier relationships amongst staff and a better workplace environment.
A good reason for dressing your employees in a uniform that sports a visible logo and the name of the employee as well as the name of the company is that it tells the customer who the employee is and who he is working for. The increased visibility resulting from employee uniforms can serve to strengthen the company’s image and increase brand recognition. Well designed work uniforms worn in public become walking billboards, promoting a company’s brand, products and services for free.
Security in the workplace
Uniforms can be an important part of your workplace security plan. When you and your co-workers are all dressed in an identical or similar manner, it’s easy for employees, customers and visitors to identify who works there and who does not with just a quick glance. Company uniforms featuring specific styles or colours quickly identify who does or does not belong in specific work areas or on job sites.
Safety and protection
Uniforms deliver functional benefits, like wearer safety. In a factory setting, uniform non-slip shoes can keep workers from falling. In a welder’s shop, protective face and body gear can keep workers from getting burned. Uniform designed specifically for the food or healthcare industries can help reduce cross-contamination threats; those made to dissipate static electricity can help prevent damage to sensitive electronic components. When employers provide uniforms at no cost to the employee, employees may recognise that the employer is concerned with their well-being and safety.
Having a workplace uniform creates a professional appearance and a set standard for customers and clients to expect to see. Whilst some business uniforms are casual, a pair of jeans and embroidered or printed polo shirts, they do look smart and professional. More so if the uniform is a coat and tie ensemble. Uniforms help your employees to dress smartly and effortlessly.
Though uniforms have been common place for police officers, firefighters, armed forces etc. for a while, uniforms in the workplace have also become common practice. The benefits of uniforms are numerous, we have only suggested a few here, but as a business owner or manager, you should consider introducing them in your organisation.
The Survey Initiative team are experts in the field of employee research. If you would like to know more about how we can help your organisation with employee engagement, then call us on +44 (0)1255 850051 or visit our website.