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Many companies have a uniform in place, but what is it that makes uniforms so popular? Why not allow all employees the freedom to wear what they want? Here are just a few reasons as to why so many companies choose to introduce a uniform.
One of the biggest perks of a company uniform is that it makes it easy to distinguish employees from non-employees. This can prevent customers awkwardly confusing other customers as members of staff. It could also make it easy for a new employee to work out who other employees are. Many companies that don’t have a full uniform in place will still introduce lanyards or badges. On top of preventing confusion, this could be useful for security reasons if only employees are allowed access to certain areas.
Health and safety
A company uniform could also be important as a matter of health and safety. Hard hats or flame retardant workwear could be necessary for protecting employees from injury in certain lines of work. Certain footwear could even be introduced as part of a uniform to protect employees from getting their feet crushed or for simply offering protection from being on one’s feet all day. High visibility jackets are meanwhile often introduced to make workers more visible when working in the dark. By protecting employees from injury, you’ll gain their trust and you’ll protect your reputation – while also protecting yourself from the threat of lawsuits
A uniform can also be an opportunity for promoting your brand. If you have a certain logo or a certain colour scheme that is used throughout other aspects of your marketing, you can incorporate this into your uniform. Such an example could include a branded t-shirt or branded uniform. This could help you to build brand awareness, helping to make your company more familiar to customers.
You could find that a uniform also helps to create a sense of unity among team members. By making employees dress the same way, you can encourage a sense of equality. Employees cannot discriminate against each other over fashion choices because they are all wearing the same clothing.
Introducing a company uniform could also prevent employees from dressing in a way that could be deemed unprofessional. While dress codes can be used in a similar sense, these can be more easily abused. A uniform dictates exactly what pieces of clothing are worn so that you can control the way in which your company image is portrayed.
The cons of a company uniform
While there are many benefits to an employee uniform, it’s also important to consider the possible challenges it can present.
Uniforms are by nature restrictive and they could make certain employees feel as if they are having freedom taken away. Some may even view it as a punishment. For this reason, it’s important to outline the benefits when introducing a uniform. It could also be worth getting employees involved in the design of your uniform – by allowing employees to vote for different designs, you can make the introduction of a uniform feel like something that is their choice rather than something that has been imposed on them. Make sure to take into account individual employees religious rights such as the need to wear a turban or a crucifix – unless allowing these items is a serious health and safety risk, you should always cater to them.
It’s important to also consider the cost of a uniform when introducing one. On top of the design process, you will need to consider how much manufacturing costs and how many uniforms you will need to order. Whenever you hire new staff, you may have to order in a uniform made to their measurements. Alternatively, you may find it easier to simply order in a selection of uniforms to meet all sizes in bulk. Work out the cost so that you know whether it’s a financially sensible idea.