8 Reasons why you should invest in a high-end staff uniform
People often say that what you wear says a lot about who you are. So by that assumption, what uniform you choose for your staff says a lot about who you are as a brand and as an employer. A well-designed, bespoke, high quality uniform may seem like a big outlay, but you should treat it as an investment that will pay dividends for both your staff and your company.
1. Living the Brand: Uniforms are a reflection of your brand identity
Your staff are your brand ambassadors. If they love your brand, if they feel good about your brand, that will rub off onto your customers. If your uniform is well cut, stylish and presentable, customers are likely to make more positive brand associations. Conversely, if your work uniform is dated or poorly designed, what does that say about your brand? Staff often travel to and from work in their uniforms, and may even socialise in them. With the right uniform, this could be a great opportunity for free advertising.
2. First impressions: “I like the cut of his suit”
Research has shown that we take just 3 seconds to make a judgement about people. In one study of first impressions, 300 adults were shown images of a man (with his face pixelated) wearing a bespoke suit and an off-the-peg suit from the high street. The suits were chosen to be very similar, in the same colour and fabric type. After just 3 seconds, people judged the man in the bespoke suit more favourably. They viewed him as more confident, successful, flexible and a higher earner. Apply that to your company’s uniform and you can immediately see how good tailoring can translate to positive brand and staff impressions.
3. Attract the best employees: Don’t underestimate the power of good uniform design
A large percentage of the UK’s uniform wearing population earn minimum wage or just over, which means you need to attract the best by offering other incentives. How much they like your uniform could well be the deciding influence. After all, an often-asked interview question is whether you’re a good fit for the organisation. If employees feel that their uniform better represents who they are and how they view themselves, they will probably be more inclined to work for you.
4. Professionalism and authority: Look the part, feel the part
The clothes we wear have a psychological effect on our emotions, behaviour, attitudes, how we see ourselves, and our interactions with others. This is called Enclothed Cognition. Research has shown that clothing we associate with a specific role can activate our expectations about how people in that role should behave. For instance, one study showed that by donning a lab coat during an experiment, the wearers paid more attention to what they were doing and made fewer mistakes. Applying these ideas at the uniform design stage can have beneficial results.
5. Ethical workwear: Companies are investing in more sustainable uniforms
More and more companies, such as JSD’s client Liz Earle, are taking sustainability into consideration when sourcing their uniforms. Ethical manufacturing, environmental impact, and the life cycle of a garment are important CSR and consumer factors. Companies are willing to pay more to source their uniforms closer to their main operations, as this will have less impact on the environment; others will pay more for garments that can be fully recycled at the end of its life.
6. Staff pride and morale: Uniform quality shows pride in your brand
One recurring theme raised in staff focus groups is that employees want to feel proud wearing their uniform and that they want their uniforms to be comfortable. Get that right and you’re quite a long way there. An employee who cares about how they look is more likely to do a good job and represent your brand well. Companies who invest in quality uniforms value their employees more. After all, it’s an investment. Your staff will notice if you take short cuts on comfort and quality in order to save money. Poor, inexpensive fabric, ill-fitting or badly cut garments lower staff productivity, and are harder to keep looking smart.
7. Engenders team spirit: Birds of a feather stick together
Uniforms are a great way to bind people together. They provide a sense of belonging, an immediate, unspoken bond, strength in numbers and a feel-good factor.
8. The budget:quality equation: Good, well-made clothes last longer
When thinking about uniform procurement, think about the lifespan of the garments. Weigh this up against staff turnover. Then consider your budget and find the right quality to suit your needs. A poor quality, cheap uniform needs to be replaced more often, which means any initial savings are negated over time. Quality does not necessarily need to be compromised because of budget. Going bespoke means there are plenty more options available to you than just high quality and unaffordable, or cheap and cheerful.
Get in touch with JSD today to find out how could help you develop and implement your own high quality uniform.