Did you know that clothing, or more specific, uniforms in the workplace, have a much more powerful impact than you might first think? Fair or not, people judge businesses by what they see and that includes the appearance of our employees, including the way they are dressed. We all know it’s true, customers form opinions about us based on what we and the people who work at your dealership are wearing. We look at how people are dressed and decide if they are professional, organized, or concerned with the image they are presenting to the world. In our line of work, creating a uniform look with your staff is important. So, if you are considering a uniform look in your business, we offer the following suggestions.
1. Matching Colors – When designing your uniform, consider matching the colors to the “look and feel” of the colors inside your business. Whether you carry one manufacturer’s line, or five, your business does have its own personal color scheme. You also want to pick a color that won’t easily show stains. Darker colors are often more forgiving when it comes to hiding stains, but be careful that you don’t fall into a “drab” look. There are a lot of deep, rich colors that will work and will still provide some color to your workplace. Consider deep blues, greens, reds or something similar that will work with your inside store look and feel.
2. Different Uniforms for Men & Women – When ordering shirts, one size does NOT fit all. Clothing manufacturers design and cut shirts differently for the male and female body, so take the time to make sure the shirts you order will fit your people. Also, if you want employees to all wear the same color of pants, say khaki or black, I suggest you have them provide those themselves since fitting pants can be even more challenging. However, don’t forget to outline in your employee handbook your dress code policy as it pertains to overall look, fit, appearance and cleanliness. The same goes for shorts. Is that something you will allow in the summer months? If so, what is your policy regarding look, length and the materials accepted. Be clear up front and you will avoid issues later!
(Need help with an employee handbook? Check out the BCI Dealer Toolbox where a sample employee handbook along with many other great tools are available.)
3. Name and Logo – Since your customers see your staff uniforms often, be sure to use them to market your business. Your name and logo should be visible and easily read on every shirt. This helps to impress the name of your business in your customers’ mind and make them even more likely to think and talk about your company when they’re not in your dealership. If you have room on the shirt – especially in the case of t-shirts – use some of the space to advertise your mission statement or your business tag line. Sam’s Service – Quality Repair since 1988.
4. The Material – What material you choose to have your uniforms made from is up to you, but we encourage each business owner to consider the weather in your part of the world. Is it brutally hot all summer? Do you live in an area where you have freezing winter snow? You will more than likely need to have long and short-sleeved shirts for your employees. Make sure that the material is of good quality. The more durable and long-lasting they are, the less often you will need to invest in replacement items.
5. Cleanliness – There needs to be expectations for keeping uniforms clean. You can consider offering employees a laundry service or you can ask your employees to launder their own uniforms at home. Either way is fine. Just make sure that if your employees are responsible for cleaning, that they understand how the items should be cared for. Correct laundering is important because some materials break down faster than other types of fabrics. Once stained, how long would you allow your employees to continue wearing the same uniform? You need to have a plan as to how often you, as an owner, are willing to replace these uniforms and when it will be the responsibility of the employee.
We want to hear from you! What is your uniform policy? Do you require them? What works and what doesn’t? Send us an email at [email protected]. We may use your answers on our social media platforms!
Dealer Development Team- Dealer Toolbox Management