Every day, people around the world wake up and get ready for work. Regardless of industry or role, putting on a company uniform is part of a routine that sets the tone and mindset for the day. While dressing, we can’t help but develop thoughts, feelings and attitudes associated with what we’re putting on. Does the uniform make you feel empowered, stylish, comfortable, and excited to start your day? Or do you feel drab and underwhelmed?
The importance of fashion and function in uniform is largely ignored, even though it has a direct and highly influential impact on performance, company culture, attitude, and perception. As someone who is passionate about the importance of what you wear to work, I feel compelled to broadcast this often as possible: “Uniforms are not just uniforms! They can – and should – be so much more.”
Uniforms serve different purposes in different situations, roles and industries, but there are some common benefits shared by all. If you are debating whether you should introduce a uniform to your business, or you are not satisfied with your current uniform and need to find a new direction, learning why team uniforms are so important to a business will help you to decide.
• Team uniforms promote equality – Uniforms are a great equaliser. Your staff may occupy different levels in the chain of command, but when they are all dressed in the same uniform, there is a shared sense of team spirit. A uniform provides a level of comfort and structure for employees and can make senior staff more approachable to their juniors. Uniforms also eliminate the stress of what to wear to work, reducing the pressure on team members to keep up appearances and spend an inordinate amount of personal money on clothing for work.
• Team uniforms promote loyalty – When your employees associate themselves with your brand, they are more likely to feel positive about it. By wearing your uniform or branded accessories in public, they become brand ambassadors. Team members will wake up each day and be reminded when getting dressed who they work for and what that represents. A good uniform will ensure employees are excited and motivated to get dressed and creates a feeling of team spirit and sense of belonging. A company uniform defines what you are about as a business and ensures that your team is on the same page.
• Team uniforms BOOST performance and sales – Your clothing represents your values, beliefs and purpose and helps others identify with you. In business, effective branding can make you appear more approachable, professional, and confident. Often, this can make or break a sales opportunity. The company that takes the time to ensure their staff uniform represents the best version of their brand, culture and purpose are more likely to become industry leaders.
Strong purpose and culture have a direct, positive impact on staff morale, sales, and performance. Communicating that message across multiple locations and even countries can be difficult, and a uniform is a key part of achieving consistency and confidence in messaging. A company uniform defines what you are about as a business and ensures, regardless of where your team is based, that they are on the same page. A well-designed uniform will remind team members getting dressed who they work for and what that represents. A successful business will make sure that uniform resonates with what their company stands for, and that their staff are motivated to wear it with pride.
Pamela Jabbour is the founder and CEO of Total Image Group, the uniform designer and manufacturer for leading brands including Ford Australia, the Sydney Cricket Ground, and Bonza. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and China, Total Image dresses more than 300,000 people every day in their work wardrobe. Find out more at www.totalimagegroup.com.au