A few blogs ago, we suggested that – in some sectors at
least – it is perfectly acceptable for an entrepreneur to wear casual clothes
in most work situations.
It might therefore be thought hypocritical to impose a dress
code on employees.
Perhaps – but it is no less necessary for that.
Your business is judged by the appearance and conduct of
everyone who works for it. One sloppy employee can undo all the good done by
expensive marketing – something highlighted to us on walking into a bank on ‘dress
down Friday’ (and a policy about which we were always highly sceptical).
You ought to be able to rely on yourself never to do – or
wear – anything that might detract from the image you wish to project.
However, you cannot expect your employees to do the
same without being told.
The best way to avoid needless disputes is to set clear
boundaries from the start.
All new employees, as part of their contracts of employment,
must agree to abide by a clear Code of Conduct – including a dress code.
Whether that code is “liberal” or “conservative” is less
important than making it clear that you are the boss and your employees, at
least in the hours for which you are paying them, must abide by your standards.