Image via Flickr creative commons from the Highways Agency
Uniforms have been around for millennia. They help distinguish employees and associate themselves with a particular role or firm. If a customer is in need of assistance, a uniform makes help easy to find.
Similarly, the uniforms worn by service men and women are practical, safe and, in the case of the police force, represent a presentable public-facing image. Ensuring the public can clearly recognise your staff is easy with trusted suppliers such as Premier Workwear Uniforms.
Image is everything and the right uniform can say a lot about your business – often, it is the first impression a potential customer will get. In Australia, Flight Centre employees all wear the same uniform, regardless of their position in the company.
“No-one is any different, we’re all equal, and that goes for the office fit-outs too – we all occupy 10 square metres – even our founder and Managing Director Skroo Turner. But the uniforms are the most tangible aspect of the egalitarian culture. It helps convey professionalism,” says general manager of property and procurement, Rhonda McSweeney
As an employee, wearing a uniform is a reminder of your personal responsibility. Consumers and clients will also appreciate the way a customer-facing organisation makes efforts to be presentable at all times.
Although there is little to no research regarding what kind of effect a uniform has on profitability or turnover, they represent a culture and an image for a business. They are crucial to brand identity.
Each time a client interacts with a member of staff, it should be treated as an advertisement for a company – because of this the uniform should be individual and memorable. Colour is particularly important. According to a report by the University of Loyola in Maryland, colour can increase brand recognition by around 80 per cent.
When it comes to choosing which colour is correct for a certain business, colour psychologists can help out. According to colour specialists, Colours of the Soul: “If you think about it quickly but without analysing it, you naturally react more formally to someone in a navy suit than to someone in a yellow one. Colour can and does affect our reactions to people whether we want it to or not, the effect is subtle but very real nevertheless.
“You can send a positive or negative message by the shade of colour you wear or use in business.”
A lot of the world’s biggest brand names use uniforms to their advantage and a distinctive colour is a huge part of that. Think of how instantly you identify EasyJet through their bright orange theme. Similarly, all British Airways staff have a smart and distinctive dress code which converys their image of style and class.
There are some cons in the world of work uniforms, they rarely allow an employee to express their individuality and can be an added cost to the already pricey business of running a company. But at the same time, a managed uniform service can be offset slightly with tax deductions.