Many businesses find themselves trimming down the formal business look these days. This is mainly because it make their employees more comfortable, but also because it creates a more comfortable and at-ease environment for their customers. Employees find it easier to do their jobs without the pomp of formal business attire, and done in the right way, having a workforce dressed in casual business attire can set a positive image for your company.
However, going business-casual in company dress policies merits some decision making about what is acceptable and also whether or not to adopt a standard, but casual uniform. Some research has shown that a lack of structure in new casual dress policies can lead to decreases in productivity, ethics, tardiness, manners, and an increase in general sloppiness in regard to the overall image of employees.
A consulting research psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey L. Magee, conducted a survey from 1997 to 1998, for one year, and collected much data from Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. His study found decreases in all of the above-mentioned qualities, and that professionalism had decreased by as much as 80%.
That’s why it is crucial to have a detailed and standard code of company dress. Implementing a policy of only allowing slacks and prohibiting jeans is an effective means to dress down but also to not allow workers to make inappropriate choices. If employees are allowed to wear casual shirts, but only those sold or given by the company, then there is control over the entire image of the staff.
Company logos add the needed touch to a casual work shirt to promote a professional environment and are an excellent way to dress up a standard polo or long sleeve shirt. Consult with a company apparel retailer that provides custom embroidering and have your company logo put on the apparel that is chosen for the employees.
Having defined parameters for company attire will ensure that employees are not too casual so that customers or business partners feel they may be incompetent or untrustworthy. According to the Association of Image Consultants International, many companies and firms are including such guidelines into the official employee handbook or company policy documents.
There are three levels of business casual dress to consider: basic, standard, and executive. Some thought and consideration should be given to each department and their role in the organization when choosing styles, even though the company logo may be the same for each item.
There are retailers who have a wide range of high-quality products such as fashionable polos, sweatshirts, denim shirts, collared shirts, oxfords, and even fleece, with many brand names available so that creating an outstanding and uniform company look is achievable at every level of your business. Many accessories are also available to offer to employees, with the company logo on them, such as baseball caps.
Dressing down can be an attribute for your company, if done correctly. For employees, it simplifies their mornings because they aren’t overwhelmed with choices of choosing their own attire, but they will still enjoy the ease and comfort of today’s new contemporary, casual fabrics and styles.
A fresh new look can be invigorating and exciting for the employees, and increase the level of employee morale on the whole. Clients will take notice of this new look also and they will appreciate the casual environment you offer, if professionalism is maintained and exemplified through well-chosen company apparel.