The current status of Uniforms in the Workplace.
Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.
As a business owner, you might face the decision to require a uniform, or a dress code policy. There are many pros and cons to this decision. Uniforms can make employees feel part of a team. It can also give employees a professional image in the eyes of your customers, especially companies that have employees that visit customers in their homes, such as appliance installers, exterminators, etc. On the negative side, the uniform may be made of heavy fabric, making it uncomfortable in warm weather. Employees may not like how they look in the required uniform, or may believe the uniform is a symbol of control by their employer. One major company has relaxed their dress code policy recently.
On July 25, 2016 Starbucks announced their new dress code. The Starbuck Dress Code allows their baristas their own individual style, while still presenting a neat, clean, and professional look. Starbucks old dress code policy only allowed black or white shirt colors. Now, gray, navy, dark denim and brown, including patterns are permitted. Shorts, skirts, dresses and pants, including dark-wash denim are part of the updated wardrobe policy. Employees are also permitted to make a “hair” statement with permanent or semi-permanent hair color – as long as it is within food safety standards. Also beanies, fedoras, and other type of hats are welcome. Some customer feedback was ”We like it. We’re happy to see that you can wear expressive clothing to show who you are.” There is some thought as to this dress code is what is already in their employees’ closet, making it easier to dress for work rather than to make their employees go out and purchase the white and black shirts previously required.
The iconic green apron still remains. Cosimo LaPorta, Executive Vice President, U.S. Retail Store Operations stated, “We want partners to be as proud of their look as they are when they tie on the green apron.”1 Starbucks prides itself on ingenuity, continual innovation and customization in every business aspect. They are confident that this will uplift the Starbuck brand, as well as the customer’s experience.
Uniforms has historically been a very aggressive bid category that has driven great savings for companies that still require them in their workplace.
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1Starbuck Newsroom, 7/25/16