In certain industries, employees are required to wear a company uniform. From branded polo shirts to a fitted suit or full safety gear, there are many benefits to branding the team, but could a uniform damage your business reputation?
Benefits of a Company Uniform
Apart from preventing a daily wardrobe dilemma and reducing risks, a work uniform is all about perception. If the team are well presented, the uniform is clean and smart, it implies a level of professionalism. As a customer, you know who to ask for help in the shop, or that the person at your door is from the company you were expecting.
For the individual, a uniform can put you in a work mindset. You button up your jacket or put the helmet on your head and you are ready to get on with the job. As is evident with sports teams, a uniform can also help to unite individuals. It offers a common factor, which naturally draws people together.
One of the primary benefits of a uniform to a business is the opportunity to promote their brand. Every time a member of the public sees an employee in a branded uniform, or driving a branded van, it builds awareness. When the customer has a positive interaction with an employee this is linked to the visual image of the brand.
The Flip Side
Considering this link between experience and the visibility of your brand, it is clear that there is a risk. The uniform can not change the attitude, behaviour, facial expression or language of your employees. If they are less than professional in their approach and the customer experience is poor, then that visual association with your brand is equally strong.
For this reason, it is important that the company values are clearly communicated when providing teams with a uniform. It is essential that anyone putting on that branding, clearly understands what they represent whenever they are wearing the uniform.
Customer Perception After Hours
It is vital that everyone understands that the link between uniformed employees and company reputation does not end when the employee leaves work. If they are wearing a uniform or driving a branded vehicle, it is in force on the commute. It applies when they pop to the shops to buy lunch or when they meet up with friends on the way home. If their conduct is unsavoury, it can damage other’s perception of the company.
Wearing a Uniform with Pride
If your aim is to provide a professional appearance and mindset, it takes more than a uniform. Your team need to feel a sense of pride in who they work for, along with a sense of job satisfaction.
This is most likely to be achieved if the company has:
In addition, if your staff drive branded vehicles, the company may wish to provide a cleaning service or give car wash tokens to the driver.
Get it right and uniforms add a professional touch, make your team easy to identify, provide them with protection and build brand awareness. Having said this, the uniform is only part of the overall presentation of your brand. The attitude and conduct of each employee completes the picture.