Staffing Resources

Establishing Dress Code Policies – What Works Best For Your Company?

April 17th, 2015

Does your company have an established dress code for employees? Or does it simply go on the honor system when it comes to the way your employees present themselves in the professional world? If you don’t have a clear policy on dress codes at work, your company could be headed for future trouble. In this article, we will talk about the importance of a corporate dress code and how to create one for your organization.

Why a Dress Code Policy is Important

There are several reasons why you will want to publish and promote a clear policy on work attire.

First, there is the matter of image and how you want your clients to perceive your organization. Do you want them observing your staff in torn jeans, flip flops, and otherwise unkempt appearances? Most company leaders agree that with a multi-generational workforce, the values of how people dress for work have changed over the years.

Second, there may be safety reasons for requiring certain types of apparel. For example, a workplace could require the use of closed two shoes due to dropping hazards from boxes or equipment. Or the office may have a lot of chemicals that could get onto skin if shorts are worn. The reasons are numerous, and it’s better to err on the side of caution when establishing a dress code policy.

Putting Together a Dress Code Policy that Works for Your Company

Now that you have some concerns, it’s time to establish a clearly written corporate dress code policy for your company. Take note of the industry in which you work, the “norms” of proper attire, and any safety requirements to get started. Then use these steps to develop the dress code policy.

  1. Understand the appropriate attire for certain types of jobs
    There may be many different jobs types in your company, and so the dress code may vary slightly from one job to another. Establish what these are, given the job tasks and conditions. Include general guidelines of what employees should wear to work based on their jobs.
  2. Indicate what safety concerns require this dress code
    If there are specific safety reasons for wearing certain types of clothing, shoes, or protective gear this is the time to write this into your policy. Cite guidelines from OSHA is necessary.
  3. Decide what image the company is trying to project
    Take the time to explain the corporate brand and image to employees, talking about how this supports the goals of the company and every individual who works there. Talk about how important image is to clients, vendors, and the outside world.
  4. Establish how the dress code is to be carried out and enforced
    As part of any workplace policy, it’s important to include clear instructions on what every employee must do to comply, and what happens if they don’t. This is a policy and you must have a way to educate employees and take valid disciplinary action to deal with those who don’t take the policy seriously.
  5. Provide visual examples of the dress code
    A very helpful way of educating and gaining compliance with a dress code policy is to create visual representations of employees wearing the proper attire in the workplace. Take photos of model employees and include them in this guide.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has some great guidelines for establishing a dress code policy, along with sample policies you can use. If you need further help in this area, reach out to Staffing Resources in Atlanta.

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