With ever-evolving shifts in societal trends, the thin line differentiating appropriacy for the workplace from creating a poor image grows smaller. As the millennial generation continues to take over the workforce and challenge traditional workplace dress standards, it enhances the importance for your business to have definitive guidelines in place. Workplace cultures and job performances vary worldwide, as well as new clothing topics presented by remote work. Suitable attire for a general laborer will contrast with that of a realtor, however, each business will benefit from a clear and comprehensive dress code policy. In this comprehensive guide for business leaders and managers, the business transformation experts at MCDA CCG, INC. will help you understand everything that goes into developing the right dress code policy for your organization.
Why Does My Business Need a Dress Code Policy?
While a written dress code outlining business expectations grows more important each day, too many managers and business owners choose to avoid implementing one out of fears of complexity. A common wonder for these companies are, “How can we ensure that we don’t violate state, local, and federal laws in the dress code policy itself or the manner it is enforced?” Furthermore, the strenuous efforts in determining how to properly set a tone for the business regularly contradicts attempts in allowing team members the freedom to dress according to their personal style.
While these serve as valid concerns, the ultimate benefit to providing a relevant dress code outweighs any ambiguities. Outlining what your business allows-and doesn’t allow- in dress for your company creates structure, clarity, and guidelines that will actually reduce stress for you and your team members. Your employees will understand the guidelines, and a set of standards to reference if a team member ever wears something unacceptable highly benefits you.
Today, we’re going to discuss what you need to know about the modern workplace dress code.
Common Types Of Dress Code Policy
Formal Business Attire
The strictest category of workplace dress codes, formal business attire generally includes suit, tie, close toed shoes, and skirt suits
The most common dress code in today’s world, business casual includes, slacks, khakis, blouses, collared shirts, closed-toed footwear. While this category typically encompasses various clothing items, it is up to your business to explicitly determine and state what you deem acceptable.
One step down from business casual, this category accepts clothes that often includes those in business casual, as well as, jeans, t-shirts, sandals. Note that in many businesses, this category overlaps with business casual, again, it is up to you to define what is appropriate for your business.
The most relaxed dress code policy, summer casual includes, shorts, sleeveless tops, t-shirts, sandals, flip-flops
Businesses that hire seasonal workers during summertime or businesses that are seeking a more relaxed atmosphere-bars, outdoor restaurants, food trucks-may benefit from this type of dress code policy.
What To Include In Your Dress Code Policy
To dramatically reduce common issues of confusion and discrepancy in the future, strive for a comprehensive dress code policy addressing more than just clothing. Make sure, however, to apply a mutually respectful tone when drafting your policy document and provide clear expectations as to why you have chosen this policy. First, distinguish the attire that you want your employees to wear and what you don’t want them to wear. Once you’ve settled on the attire that is appropriate for your business, you can go back and address other variables, such as:
Incorporating the above mentioned variables into your dress code may dictate that you add or remove some clothing restrictions-this is common.
Once you start to think about safety and practicality inside your workplace, adjust the requirements as needed. If you initially determined the long sleeves as satisfactory but now consider their potential threat when working with surrounding equipment, you can decide against it.
Common Elements of A Dress Code Policy to Include
A brief introduction: Begin your policy with a brief outline of what the company expects about how employees should present themselves at work and why this is important to the business.
The target audience: It is important that you state specifically who the policy applies to so that some employees do not regard themselves as exempt.
General guidelines: In this section, you can provide employees with general guidelines about appropriate clothing and other aspects like tattoos and jewelry.
The dress code: Clearly state what the general dress code of the business is and list exceptions when employees may need to follow a different dress code.
Accommodations: To limit and prevent any future issues, specify that employees can address any dress code concerns to human resources.
Revise Your Policy As Needed
Certainly, with clothing standards and styles continuously changing, you will need to modify your policy more than once. In time, aged rules will become outdated and new rules will become necessary. To ensure ongoing relevance and employee compliance, revisit and revise your dress code policy at least once per year or upon a question or concern.
Feel free to modify the policy to address the unique needs of everyone in your business. As long as the code is fair to everyone involved and you’re consistent with its enforcement, there shouldn’t be an issue.
Drafting a proper dress code policy required time, additional effort, and deep expertise in always changing laws, regulations, and trends. Avoid future complication, controversy, and conflict; get in touch with an expert to solidify your protection.
Our team at MCDA CCG, INC. provides ongoing assistance in drafting your effective dress code policy to your unique business. Protect you, your business, and those included in it-contact us today.