The Dress Code Policy

Dress codes inform the employees what an organization considers appropriate work attire. To an extent, the dress code conveys the company’s image to the outside world. Dress codes differ from company to company; some might prefer strictly formal clothes, while others prefer informal ones. Certain companies even have specific uniforms; employees are only expected to turn to the office in those uniforms. 

Why should there be a dress code policy?

Employees are the face of the company, so it is essential to regulate the company’s appearance. The impressions that employees make on the customers are critical to the organization’s success. The dress code also helps to create an employment brand. 

Type of dress codes

There are several dress codes, like business formal, business casual, casual friday, summer casual, etc., but dress codes can be broadly categorized as formal or informal. The type of dress code preferred by each organization largely depends on two factors:

  • The Level of Interaction With Customers
  • Type Of Industry

1. The level of interactions with customers

Specific industries, like airlines, textiles, etc. that have close interaction with customers prefer to have a formal dress code because they interact with customers in close relation. At the same time, industries like radio prefer an informal dress code because they do not directly interact with customers. Moreover, these industries prefer the comfort of employees to the firm’s image. 

2. Type of industry

The type of industry also plays a role in determining the dress code. For example, the hospitality industry prefers traditional formals to emphasize the firm’s image. However, business firms prefer business formals for uniformity and comfort of the industry. 

HR’s role in designing dress code policy

Ideas about appearance and attire should not be affected by the personal views or beliefs of employers or policymakers. Organizations must create dress and appearance policies that correspond with company goals and culture, safeguard the business against discrimination claims, and safeguard employees’ rights. To ensure that dress standards are handled consistently and fairly, HR must collaborate with other departments, typically in charge of developing policies. HR or managers are required to carry out the following tasks about dress and appearance:

  • Working closely with internal management, business partners, and executives, set and manage policies.
  • Work with the legal department to identify and address legal difficulties, such as protected class considerations, and control employee dress requests.

Few clauses that should be included in dress code policy:

  • Grooming and Hygiene. All employees should be well groomed. Grooming styles dictated by religion and ethnicity aren’t restricted.
  • Employees should be dressed professionally in clothes appropriate for the work environment. 
  • All clothes must be clean and in good shape. Discernible rips, tears, or holes aren’t allowed.
  • Employees must avoid clothes with stamps that are offensive or inappropriate.
  • Employees must avoid clothes with logos of previously worked organizations.

Consequences of not adhering to dress code

Disciplinary action should be taken against employees who do not adhere to the dress code. Initially, managers should reprimand employees, and if the behavior persists, a fine or any other penalty may be imposed.

Legal regulations

Although no broad federal legislation prohibits employment decisions based on dress, most companies know that doing so could jeopardize other legally protected reasons. Employers and supervisors might not be aware that an employee’s dressing pattern can still be legally protected in particular circumstances.

Employees must try to adhere to the dress code of the firm. In addition, they must realize that their appearance matters in maintaining the firm’s image. The dress code should apply to all employees in the industry, irrespective of position or gender, and at the same time, should not hurt any sentiments of the employees. 

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