Who, What, Wear – How Uniforms Impact Your Success
Each morning when you put on your fresh, clean clothes for work, you start your day with confidence. That confidence continues throughout your day as you present yourself with a positive image.
Did you know it has been statistically proven that when you look good, you feel good, and when you look good and feel good, your performance skyrockets?
When you hear the term “looking good,” many think to achieve this that you have to spend a lot of time, money, and energy on the latest trends and wear designer items, but looking good has an entirely different meaning business-wise.
Looking good could be simply maintaining personal hygiene, putting on a fresh set of work clothes, and putting on your favorite pair of comfortable shoes. These small tasks make the difference in attitude, appearance, and self-assurance.
Everyone defines the term “looking good” differently. Once you have defined what it takes for you to look good, you will see nothing but satisfying results.
Feeling good is the next step on the path leading to success. Your overall mood is uplifted the moment you leave your home looking your best.
That inspired mood is a powerful tool and something that everyone strives to attain. A “life hack” to feeling good throughout the entire day is dressing for success, and with that confidence, comes a second wind of energy.
That extended energy could be what it takes to improve your performance at work to land you that promotion for which you have been striving.
To top it off, when you have positive energy, it is natural for others to feed off this energy, making your workplace a more inviting place.
How to Get Started
Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you will set yourself and your business up for success when you start prioritizing your appearance and the image you are portraying to others.
Figuring out what to wear every single day can be a chore, or it can be a clean and simple solution. Depending on your career, once you have to take everything into consideration (style, comfort, safety, and feedback), it may be much simpler to have this decision predetermined each morning.
“There is something to be said about the ease of having fresh, clean clothes set up for you,” Marketing Manager Emily Novotny said. “Every day, we help impact thousands of people, helping them to start their day off on the right foot by simply providing them with a fresh set of uniforms.”
Work Apparel > Performance
Clothing alone can directly influence work performance. For example, what someone wears affects his or her level of focus and alertness.
“A few years ago, our production employees wore ‘freedom pant’ style uniforms that we originally picked for comfort and ease-of-movement purposes,” Melinda Fratzke, CITY’s stockroom manager, said. “But we started to notice that employees spent a lot of extra time attending to their own uniforms because the pants had a draw string but no elastic, which caused them to slip down.”
According to Fratzke, it was not an effective way to operate a department due employees constantly tending to their uniforms.
Finding the Solution
Gathering input is the first step to finding a solution. Because the employees are the ones doing the job day-in and day-out, they are able to give special insight that management may not otherwise know.
“We gathered opinions from employees because I think that they matter a lot,
Fratzke added. “By doing that, we learned that most of the employees did not like the uniforms because they found them uncomfortable and difficult to move around in.”
Additionally, it is important to look at each job’s requirements. In CITY’s case, certain departments requested particular characteristics to their uniforms due to the requirements of their job. Maintenance or janitorial staff asked for pockets within their uniforms so that they could carry essential tools.
Collaborating to Find the Right Fit
The next step to finding the right uniform is to take these findings and add them to your own requirements for employee uniforms.
“The things you need to keep in mind are comfort, as well as making sure the uniforms won’t slow down production or get in the way of employees doing their job,” Fratzke said.
When an employee isn’t comfortable, it makes it harder to want to put that uniform on and come to work each morning, according to Fratzke. And that single piece of clothing can impact their motivation and confidence.
Fratzke knows first-hand the impact a uniform can have on an employee’s feelings about his or her job, because she started her career at CITY as a production employee and had to wear uniforms that she found to be uncomfortable.
“From my personal experience of working in production, having to put on an uncomfortable uniform made me not want to come to work,” she said. “I think that reflects your attitude, so a better uniform will help you to start the day off on the right foot. You want to be comfortable while you’re working and not have to worry about something that you’re wearing.”
Safety is another important factor to consider when choosing a uniform. Wearing proper uniforms for a variety of work environments is a key component to keeping employees safe and compliant.
“For maintenance employees, we make sure they have high visibility and flame resistant uniforms for added protection,” Fratzke said. “Another example for production employees is to avoid long sleeves, loose sweatshirt cuffs, and zippers because they often get caught on things like the conveyer or a hanger, which isn’t safe.”
Enhancing the Image
Once all those factors are fulfilled, a uniform’s style should also be considered.
“Previously, our scrub style uniform had different colors along the neckline that corresponded to the actual size of the uniform,” Fratzke said. “Because of that, everyone knew what size you wore, which wasn’t very considerate to employees.”
At CITY today, employees are much more comfortable and stylish with the current crew neck, T-shirt style uniforms, Frazke mentioned.
“The employees really like artwork on the uniforms,” she said. “I think it’s more of a visual thing, too – employees look good and they feel more ‘in style.’”
Building a Team
Employees not only look good in the updated uniforms, but the uniforms also help address socio-economic barriers that can exist among employees.
“No one can judge them for the brand or style that they are wearing because everyone looks the same,” Fratzke said.
Uniforms also help create a sense of unity, and those that can work together with others are more successful. Better teams are built when everyone feels united.
“Uniforms put everyone on the same page,” CITY President, Colin Wetlaufer, said. “This promotes a positive employee culture and a sense of accountability.”
Although it is beneficial for all employees to wear the same uniform, there is also a benefit to having certain employees in alternative uniforms that stand out. For example, employees in leadership positions may wear a different uniform so that other employees can easily and quickly find them when necessary.
“It’s helpful for new hires because they can look for the person they need to talk to if they have a question,” Fratzke said.
In addition, a uniform designated for leadership positions encourages employees to work hard and to stay motivated.
“I got to change my own uniform when I changed roles into a management position, and it encouraged me to really focus on my new responsibilities,” Fratzke said.
A Solution at Last
Building a uniform program doesn’t have to be troublesome. Following the above steps will help you to make the right choice for your business and your employees. And with an industrial laundry provider, you can rest easy knowing your uniform program is being handled professionally and your uniforms are clean, compliant, safe, and ready for each day.
If you are ready to take your team to the next level, it is important to start with a solid foundation of people. In order to bring out the best in each employee, it is important that they look good and feel good at the start of each day.
A uniform program can bring you one step closer to the success for which you are striving.
To learn more about how a CITY uniform program works, contact us.