A dress code policy is defined as a set of guidelines to make it easy for the employees to know what is the appropriate way to dress or what to wear to work. Many organizations take their help to be sure that the employees are presenting themselves well in the meetings and other official interactions with the clients and customers as well. The purpose of this policy is to be sure that a particular workplace maintains a positive appearance and is not offending any customers, client or colleagues.
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Points to Remember Before Drafting a Dress Code Policy
Set Understandable Guidelines
One of the common errors that employers make often is to make the language too broad and open-ended. This usually results in a policy that is hard to follow and also to enforce. For instance, using phrases like business casual and professional attire do not clearly outline what an employee can or cannot wear. Contrary to it, you can use specific terms and be clear what is acceptable and unacceptable. You can use other phrases like ‘no blue jeans’ or ‘skirts and dresses must reach knee-length.’
Give Reasonable Guidelines
An overly strict dress code may hurt the morale of the employees. So you must make sure that you try to keep in mind what exactly is reasonable and necessary for your office while drafting your policy. For instance, you can mention that flip-flops may not be acceptable in a traditional law firm, but they may be acceptable in any other environment. There is no reason in making a policy that is unreasonably strict and may be hard to enforce and may result in disciplinary complications.
Avoid Any Discrimination
One thing that the employers must be kept in mind while instituting a dress code is to avoid some requirements that might interfere with an employee’s religious beliefs. For example, there are some religions where it is mandatory to wear a head covering and a ‘no hat’ policy may violate these practices. Therefore, employers should include such provisions in the policy that is comfortable for all the employees and all religions.
Have a Safe Work Environment
Another aspect of the dress code policy that is often overlooked by the employers is the inclusion of any kind of clothing or gear requirements that may result in a safer workplace. For instance, you can always make the employees wear closed-toe shoes, you can also ban dangling jewelry, or specify what type of eye-wear is allowed. Employing these will result in fewer injuries around the office and must be covered in your dress code policy.
This is the last important point that must be kept in mind while making your dress code policy. As employers, you must enforce your dress code policy evenly to avoid any kind of discrimination claims. This is a good rule to follow with all the policies, it can also be easily overlooked in regards to the appearance.
Common Dress Code Violations
Many companies implement some type of dress code policy to ensure that their staff looks professional and acceptable. But on what basis will the employers judge whether the employees have violated any dress code rule or not?
Overly Casual Dresses
Even though you may have some casual Fridays or allow the employees to dress “business casual,” this cannot be considered as an invitation to take it to extremes and go overboard. Usually, the definition of a casual can be a subjective term and it is common for some employees to even under-dress to the point that it is unprofessional. For example, you would not want your staff to show up wearing a floral or a Hawaiian shirt with flip-flops while delivering an important presentation.
Wearing Too Revealing Dresses
In the case of summers, it is natural for every human to wear lighter clothing and expose some skin. But wearing too little or too revealing clothing can be a considerable problem. Even though it may be comfortable for you, it does not suit the environment of the workplace and may disturb the decorum.
This may be quite uncommon, but in the case of some high-profile positions, wearing jeans might be a big no-no.
Wearing Dirty or Wrinkled Clothing
Time can be a very precious commodity, but not everyone has the time to ensure that their clothing is clean, ironed and wrinkle-free. You may even encounter some employees whose attire may look sloppy and unprofessional due to wrinkles.
Getting a tattoo has become very trending, and it is common to see some brightest minds and top talents wearing these tattoos. In some positions, it may look a bit unprofessional to expose all their tattoos and revealing them to their clients.