Have you been thinking about introducing a uniform into your team for a while now, but you’ve been getting resistance from your staff? This article will give you three strategies to help educate and engage them and hopefully convince them that uniforms are a good idea.
Educate them on “the why”
Involve your staff
1. Baby Steps
Change can be difficult at the best of times, so if you are coming from a high degree of individualism in your corporate culture, it’s understandable there will be some resistance to change. If eventually your vision is to have consistent, compulsory uniforms across all areas of the business – start small. Take incremental steps towards introducing a uniform by giving them one item to wear, such as a branded polo or jacket, and ask they wear it to client meetings or during colder weather.
2. Educate them on “the why”
In any change program, understanding and being on board with “the why” is going to motivate behaviour change much better than insisting they make a change. Explain to staff why introducing a uniform is going to be a positive thing for everyone. Each company will have different reasons for having a uniform, such as flattening hierarchy, increasing professionalism to customers, to help customer identification, increase brand awareness or to enhance team morale. Also make them aware of the financial benefits, and the time they will save having to choose an outfit each day. Talk to them about the uniform policy and specifically how it will work. Demonstrate how competitors are managing their uniforms. This is a great time to reinforce your vision and mission for the company and inspire the team. Show some examples of what you are thinking the uniforms will look like, and share some samples. Invite them into the process and select a few influential members of staff to be advocates for the project.
3. Involve your staff
Some managers are hesitant to do this as they think it will open a can of worms. Make it an inclusive process and take their feedback onboard when making the final decision. How you approach this process will be up to your business, your vision and your staff culture. If you want a uniformed look, staff will have to vote on which items they prefer. If you want to promote a more flexible approach to uniforms, and foster the individuality and creativity of your staff, opt for a range of items they can mix and match to create different looks each day, while still looking consistent with the rest of the team. Remember when selecting uniforms, you need to be mindful of your staff’s body shapes, tastes and preferences – which can vary massively. Once you have narrowed down a style that you feel will good on all body shapes, we recommend you order one in every size for your staff to try on in person. This will help them feel engaged and comfortable about finding a fit they feel comfortable in. Keep the communication high at this time, and give frequent, relevant updates on the projects progress.
Check out our 10 Questions to Ask Your Staff Before Designing a Corporate Uniform post.