Should My Business Get a Uniform?
As a business grows you’re going to be faced with plenty of questions about which direction you want to take in the world. While you’re probably pretty adept at running your business there’s wider questions at play about the direction your business wants to take on a cultural scale and this is where the first questions of uniform come into play.
Now some jobs, a uniform is an assumed part of a job and in many cases they’re instrumental to properly performing the work. Nurses, builders and chef’s all require a uniform for safety and sanitary reasons and therefore have become synonymous with their respective jobs.
There is a simple pushback against the idea of uniform; convenience, why bother implementing a uniform policy when your staff can just as easily do their jobs in clothes from their own wardrobe. But the positives of implementing a uniform program work from the ground up, starting with the immediate benefits for employees.
There’s the initial psychological positives of bringing a group together in the way football jerseys bring together both fans and players to route for the same outcome. It brings people together and great quality uniforms can be a point of pride. There was a study undertaken by Northwestern University in 2012 about “enclothed cognition” which showed that people who performed a task in a garment associated with that role attained better results than participants who were wearing ordinary clothing. This study illustrated the importance in clothing people in workwear they associate with their job.
Another benefit for starting a uniform program is that all staff members wearing the same thing eliminates differences of socioeconomic differences which can be a barrier between employee unity. You’re eliminating a stress from your employees not to mention valuable time in their morning as they fret about what to wear.
When you have a standard uniform for employees it also means you have one less headache to deal when it comes to HR. When there’s a dress code rather than a proscribed uniform there can be a lot of miscommunication. For example smart casual to some might mean jeans and trainers while to others it might be the lack of a tie. These different interpretations can cause friction within the work place. So placing a standard uniform means that everyone has an understanding of what’s expected of them with regards to their clothing.
A uniform sets your staff a part from others, this is incredibly beneficial in customer facing jobs.
To use the example of certain high street fashion retailers where employees aren’t required to wear a uniform which differentiates themselves distinctly but rather clothes worn by the brand, you often find customers will mistake similarly dressed customers for employees and become aggravated when they are unable to find someone who actually works there. A distinctive uniform, will eliminate this whole ordeal and streamline the customer communication and hopefully result in a better emotional outcome for both your employee and your customer. After all, one of the tried and tested benefits of uniforms across the business sectors is identification.
But it’s not just customer facing jobs that can benefit from a uniform within a business. A professional uniform can change the atmosphere of an office or branded work jackets can become a point of pride. Getting your logo on an item of clothing makes it part of your brand and identifies your business as their place of employment.
Now for many the word ‘branding’ might be an eye-roll inducing sentiment especially to smaller businesses, why bother with branding when there’s so many other things you need to be thinking about? But branding can start off as small as getting your logo embroidered onto a company polo shirt or fleece, elevating a simple clothing item to ‘Your Business’ clothing item.
To use a real world example look at holiday brand, TUI and how they use the branding across a wide range of jobs but manage to make them look part of the same company. The red TUI logo is screen-printed on their bright blue t-shirts and shirts. This means that customers and clients easily know who they are looking for and with jobs such as flight attendants where they not only need to differentiate themselves from holiday-goers but other companies flight attendants as well that signature branding becomes all the more important. When customers recognising the brand via uniform they can recognise it throughout a number of different job roles, in this case holiday reps, travel agents, pilots and support staff.
Getting your logo on your staff’s uniform also provides the secondary benefit of viral marketing. As your staff travel to and from work or too and from meetings while wearing your branded uniform they’re unconsciously spreading awareness of your brand. This in turn increases employee responsibility as they are wearing identifying clothing so their outside behaviour can be traced back to the company they work for, holding them more accountable for their actions and how they reflect on the company and thus creating ambassadors for your brand.
The logistics and costs of implementing a uniform is the primary reason why people tend to stay clear, despite the huge benefits. After all it involves a number of things; finding everyone’s size which is particularly challenging if you have a large, remote staff. Then, looking at which individual garments they need for their work, for instance do they require a cargo pant or do simple trousers work? Finally, to buy all this clothing outright is costly as depending on your workforce you could be buying hundreds or possibly thousands of products.
However, we at Tibard have developed a unique solution for this cost issue, our Uniform Rental service. This is where we supply you the clothing you require and then rent them out to you on a contract. Not only does this spread the cost of a uniform over years rather than all at once it also incorporates our full laundry service utilising our nationwide network. Therefore, not only is the initial capital expenditure reduced but your uniform is kept sparkling week in, week out without encroaching on your staff’s time.
Therefore, a uniform is a fantastic investment for nearly every business. It keeps your staff on brand, identifiable and gives them the right clothing for the job. And with a wide variety of purchase options you have complete choice with how you would like to approach this. Finally, what we feel sets us apart in this field is our range of uniform services. There are entirely flexible and were created to give you as many options as you require to get the most out of your products, uniform management and additional services such as laundry.