It can be a contentious topic and one which varies from workplace to workplace. Some cite hygiene as a reason for conformity; others see it as a way of promoting unity and harmony amongst team members.
Staff themselves swerve from complaints that their identity has been eradicated, to relief that they don’t have to waste their ‘good clothes’ at work. The topic under the microscope today: custom uniforms for staff.
As a business, chances are you have already had this chat, or been forced to consider the topic. To help, we have put together a list of arguments in favour of staff uniforms and the different ways in which they can help you boost your business. Without further adieu, let’s celebrate the uniform!
1. Uniforms can make life easier for customers
Sometimes, the most basic answers are the best ones. On the simplest level, uniforms help to differentiate staff from customers, and this can improve the overall customer journey and experience. They can quickly identify and locate a staff member at a moment’s notice if required, and receive any help or assistance they need quickly, efficiently, and with zero fuss. Uniforms also help to prevent the awkward customer hover as they wonder out loud, “does she work here? She knows where she’s going..shall I just ask?” Make life easier and ensure that your staff can easily be located.
2. Uniforms can help security
In a similar vein, uniforms in the workplace can also actually help you to improve safety. If your site has restricted areas, such as the back of house, offices, or stockrooms, requiring your staff to wear a uniform makes it instantly evident if someone is not supposed to be in a specific area.
3. Promotional Clothing Uniforms for Free exposure
In a busy world, competition is fierce, and marketing costs can easily eat into the revenue of your company. You need to be continually staying relevant and fresh in the minds of your potential customer, but that can cost some serious cash, and put an unwanted dent in your profits.
Uniforms can be a fantastic form of free advertising if used correctly. They should be instantly identifiable as your brand, and recognised by anyone in the street – think the distinctive red outfits of Virgin Atlantic staff or the golden arches of a certain well known fast food joint… Uniforms can become synonymous with a brand, and you can use this to your serious advantage, and push your business into the public consciousness.
Research shows that 56.1% of all those asked considered uniforms to be a more effective advertising technique than the internet, and 73.5% consider them more effective than TV. 74.4% stated that a good uniform says more about your brand than radio, and 75.7% a better idea than billboard advertising.
Uniforms represent your brand
With this in mind, it is important when designing and picking your uniform that your values are consistently demonstrated. Your look can really represent your brand and image; if you want to look high-end and sophisticated, make sure that your outfits reflect this.
They can keep staff safe
In some instances, uniforms can be helpful by doubling as workwear, and can, therefore, be instrumental in helping to keep staff safe. Kitchens, construction sites, and cleaning jobs are just a few examples of industries where PPE is essential.
They can save staff cash
Having the company provide staff uniforms can also mean that your employees don’t need to shell out on expensive clothing for work, and so can actually act as a cost saver.
Uniforms help to boost team spirit
A uniform can also be a great equaliser; there are no disputes over outfits or gripes over other people’s appearances. Instead, staff are unified by a common look, and this can really help to foster a sense of loyalty, community, and team spirit, which can filter through to the public through improved customer service.
They improve staff accountability and behaviour
As we discussed, staff in uniform are instantly recognisable, and this can help to strengthen and boost their accountability both in and out of the workplace. They are likely to be more aware of their actions and conscious of the fact that their attitudes, acts, and behaviour will reflect back onto the company, and maybe even get back to their boss. Whether it is a fear of firing or a sense of genuine loyalty (hopefully the latter), a visible uniform means that staff cannot remain anonymous, and are likely to hold themselves to far higher standards of behaviour.
There is no denying that requiring a uniform for your staff has a considerable number of benefits for both the business and the individual, and can help to ensure that the whole operation is smoother, smarter and to a top-quality standard each and every time.