Choosing the right uniforms for your employees is crucial for a number of reasons, including productivity, morale and business-client relationships. This article looks at what you need to consider during the decision-making process.
You'll always want to give customers and clients the best possible impression of your business. You might have put plenty of thought into choosing and decorating your workplace, carefully considered how you're going to market your products or services, and devised a customer service strategy that you're proud of. But, have you thought about how you would like your staff to be dressed?
Your customer-facing workers in particular are likely to be the first point of contact for your clients, and you want to make sure they're reflecting your brand in a positive and professional way. One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure this is by giving them guidelines as to what they should wear. You could even provide them with a uniform you've picked out. To help you choose the right uniform for your workers, I'm going to outline my top tips here.
Check if there are any uniform laws that apply to your industry
Depending on what kind of business you have, there may be some rules and regulations you need to adhere to when it comes to your employees' uniforms. For example, do they work with dangerous chemicals or machinery? If so, you may have a legal duty to ensure that all reasonably practicable steps are taken to protect the health, safety, and welfare of your workers. And this includes providing them with all of the necessary personal protective equipment and general safety wear that they might require on the job.
Of course, the requirements vary from industry to industry, and job to job, so you'll need to do plenty of research to work out what rules you need to be following. But you must take these into account when you're deciding on your employees' uniforms. Even if the necessary safety precautions don't fit your vision aesthetically, they will need to be a priority.
Think about the requirements of your employees' jobs
It's important that your staff look professional and put-together, but you'll also want to ensure they're comfortable and able to complete their work to the necessary standards. This means you'll need to consider the requirements of each role so you can provide them with clothing that's going to be suitable.
Chances are, you'll also want your staff uniforms to vary from person to person, and this is for a number of reasons. Firstly, you'll want your customers to be able to differentiate between people with different jobs so they can easily work out who to go to with any particular questions or problems. Plus, as different roles will have different requirements, you'll want to take this into account. For example, if you own a hotel, you'll want your front desk staff to dress differently to the kitchen staff and the pool's lifeguards. Just remember that you'll also want everyone's uniforms to work together for a coherent look.
Consider incorporating your branding
One of the easiest ways to ensure all of the different uniforms still co-ordinate is by including aspects of your branding in the designs. So, for example, your business might have a recognizable color scheme that you would like to stick to, or you might decide to add a logo to all of your employees' work clothing.
Adding your logo to employee uniforms comes with benefits that go beyond aesthetics, too. If your staff commute to and from work while wearing their uniforms, this will work as free advertising for your business, which can increase brand awareness. It can also help customers to easily distinguish between who does and doesn't work for you. If you've ever been mistaken for a shop employee, you'll know it's never a comfortable experience. So, clearly branding your staff uniforms can help customers and clients avoid awkward situations and find a worker quickly and easily when they need them.
Consult your employees
The most important thing to ensure is that your employees are still going to be able to complete their jobs to the best of their abilities while wearing their new uniforms. So, it can be a good idea to involve them in the design process. Ask them what they want from a uniform, whether there are any features that they'll find useful, and even what kinds of fabrics they like. Of course, they need to look professional, but they should also be comfortable. And, letting them have their say is likely to be the best ways of ensuring the best of both worlds.
If you're looking to create new work uniforms for your staff, take these tips on board and you should have no trouble choosing professional but comfortable clothing that's going to give the best possible impression of your business.
Author: Andrew Dark is Director and Co-Founder of the printwear and branding specialists Custom Planet.