Flip flops. Tank tops. Sheer clothing. Baseball caps. This sounds like a list of vacation clothing items, but instead, it’s a list of what more employees in business casual office environments are wearing to work during the summer months.
What employees choose to wear can impact a company’s image, and in some situations even pose safety hazards. Overly tight or revealing clothing can also be distracting to clients and co-workers.
In her recent article for SHRM Online, Kathy Gurchiek explains that employees may not always be aware of what constitutes “business casual” attire, since it varies widely by company. This becomes even less clear as the seasons change, and different clothing items become part of employees’ wardrobes.
Employees may need reminders and training as to what is acceptable and what is not. In her article, Gurchiek shares several ideas for giving a refresher course on the dress code, gleaned from leaders across a range of industries.
- When the seasons change, aeSolutions, a process safety consulting, engineering and automation company, puts a dress code reminder in the company’s timesheet tool.
- American Buildings Co. in La Crosse, Va., issues a reminder to supervisors and managers, asking them to frame the company’s dress code policy in a way that does not target specific styles or people, according to Cindy Kirby, the company’s HR coordinator.
- PharMor Pharmacy and BioMed Specialty Pharmacy in the greater Detroit area issues an infographic during the summer on appropriate vs. inappropriate dress. This provides an alternative to long, wordy policies.
- Pamela Barsky of Pamela Barsky Inc., a New York City marketplace of handmade and vintage goods, held a style session for employees to make them aware of possible office fashion blunders such as wearing tights as pants or wearing gym clothes. The company hired a makeup artist and hairdresser to give tips, free trims and style suggestions. They reviewed the dress code and offered each employee $100 to buy clothing that fit their requirements.
- Sandra Medley, SHRM-SCP, was hearing complaints about employees’ wardrobes not meeting company standards when she was area HR supervisor for UPS Supply Chain Solutions in 2010. She staged a company version of the popular TV show What Not to Wear, with members of the employee relationship committee modeling tank tops, ripped jeans, and other clothing considered inappropriate for work. Employees were shown how to make simple changes to their wardrobe to be within the dress code. This fun and informative session got the message across in a memorable way.
Originally on SHRM.org
Read the original article by Kathy Gurchiek, Associate Editor at HR News.