One of the most argued topics on an typical office floor, regardless of the ‘type of business’ is: ‘Office Dress Code’
I hear this topic brought up a lot, and so here we are.
Comfort reigns; most would agree. But once again we touch on the area of what in particular makes your customer/patient/client feel comfortable. It is important to note that this isn’t about your comfort, it’s about your image and how you are viewed and thought of.
Let’s not forget Webster’s definition of PR which reads:
Public Relations: “The business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm or institution”.
With that definition fresh in your mind, what do you imagine is ‘induced’ by a business owner wearing Big Bird Slippers in a standard office environment? For one employees are much less likely to take a business owner seriously. I’ve spoken with personnel from the janitor to upper management and the response is not favorable overall. More importantly 90% or more of your clients/patients/customers when surveyed have said that they wouldn’t take a business owner seriously either. If you are a hardware store you can get away with wearing jeans and a polo shirt. If you are bridal store you shouldn’t be wearing a tee shirt that says “Time to Tie The Knot” and a pair of jean shorts.
It’s different if you are a pediatric dentist and you have a child coming in for an appointment and are looking to create that type of an environment. Children and their parents will probably see Big Bird slippers as being a pretty cool thing. Though in this case we are talking about a standard office environment and the distraction that is conveyed by moving to the comfort side of the spectrum and not toward the professional side. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of our public and keep them there.
When you arrive at your own office each day look around and ask yourself how your customer/patient/client might feel walking in at that exact moment. What would he or she think or your attire, or that of your employees?
Would the site or smell of of you be a shock to them because of an unshaven beard and bad breath, or will they think; “Hmmm this is a place I’d like to do business with?”. If you’re ‘not sure’ how you might come across to your public, you might need to step back and upgrade your appearance and that of your employees. You’ve hear it said: “Image is everything”. It’s mostly true.
Remember that each day as you prepare to face your clients/customers/patients arrival just ask yourself how YOU would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. Try to create an effect they can easily experience and you’ll see the results/ You may not think it matters to everyone that walks through your door and you would be right. But it does matter to some; that’s why a dress code should be implemented.
Feel free to call or comment with your questions. We welcome your feedback.