The COVID-19 pandemic gave millions of workers some needed rest, but it also affected how workers think about work – including how to dress while they do it.
While employers have the right to enforce dress codes, doing so can be challenging. Employees may push back against parts of a dress code that seem confusing or unfair.
To Create and Enforce a Workable Dress Code for Your Team:
Simplify the Rules
Many dress codes become unenforceable because they’re bogged down by minutiae. To create a dress code your team can follow, keep it as simple as possible.
Avoid the urge to list specific clothing types or styles; instead, think about how to create categories based on the target characteristic of permitted or prohibited clothing. For instance, your dress code may specify “shirts with collars” instead of “dress shirts, blouses, or polo shirts.”
Keep it Gender-Neutral
Many workers, especially young workers, faced gender-specific dress codes during their school years that were often enforced unequally. To minimize the company’s exposure to claims of sex or gender discrimination or harassment, focus on a gender-neutral policy. One option is to specify which parts of the body must be covered, rather than on clothing types more commonly worn by one gender (such as deep v-neck shirts).
Include Clear Consequences
A dress code won’t help your team or their leaders if it doesn’t include clear consequences for violations. Consider incorporating a “stepped” method of consequences to account for honest mistakes. For instance, one violation may simply earn a worker a reminder of the dress code and an invitation to change clothes; a second one may earn a sterner warning.
Enforce the Dress Code Consistently
An inconsistently-enforced dress code undermines morale on your team. It creates the appearance that workers who don’t receive dress code reminders are favored over those that do. To make your team’s dress code work, you’ll need to enforce it consistently – another reason that clear, simple rules and consequences are a must.
Contact EPC Today for Your Hiring Needs
For help building the team your company needs, talk to the recruiters at Employment Professionals Canada. We’ll help you find talent whose capabilities and approach to work match your needs and company culture. Contact us today to learn more.