Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Uniform & Professional Image (Trade Business)

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  • #997145
    gingerbeardhs
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    Hi folks,

    I’m deliberating over what is probably a minor issue but I thought I would get some extra input.

    I’m in the process of employing some staff and I’m trying to make a decision in the way of uniform.

    I like wearing a cotton drill type shirt (think King Gee/Hard Yacka etc). It requires ironing, which is not something I mind as I did it in the military every day and I feel it gives me some confidence.

    On the other hand, I can empathise with people who would prefer to wear a polo, as they see ironing as a chore. I don’t mind the idea of a polo for the uniform, but the colours don’t really match the drill shirts I prefer to wear. I would give the option for an employee to wear a drill shirt or a polo shirt, their choice.

    Does consistency matter? Is it ok for me to wear the cotton drill shirts while employees wear polos, if they prefer? I feel that the uniform should be consistent with all staff, including myself, above what I would prefer to wear.

    One of the other concerns I have for a a polo in the uniform is the “professionalism” I’m trying to convey in my business. To me, a cotton drill shirt for a tradesperson is more professional, but I concede that I may be outdated? Are polos still just as professional today?

    Should I just go ahead and jump aboard the polo train?

    #1210624
    elissa.doxey
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    My husband prefers the cotton drill shirts, too, but hates ironing. He figures that they ‘uncrinkle’ enough after an hour’s wear to look okay. I’m sure he’s not the only person who thinks that way. I guess it’s ultimately up to you whether you could live with employees wearing un-ironed shirts…would it niggle at you?

    Polo shirts are certainly getting more commonplace, and are easier to wash and wear. However, they do seem to get stained more easily and aren’t as hardy as the drill shirts. I wouldn’t worry about the colours between the drill and polo shirts not matching – the logo ties it nicely together (great logo, btw).

    I have to ask: is a ginger beard part of the uniform, too?

    #1210625
    bb1
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    I used to wear polo’s, but found them to be less comfortable in hot weather, so quickly moved to a cotton drill shirt (with ventilation), and they were definitely more comfortable all around. I do think they look a little more professional as well, when I had people working for me, I had a mixture of the Shirts and polo’s, and it really didn’t detract from the image, as Elissa said the logo will give you that. But more importantly I think as long as you are providing a professional service, the shirt wont detract from that (IMO).

    I find if you give them 4 good shakes as you take them out of the machine and hang them, they actually come up well. 3 isn’t quite enough and 5 can be to many, 4 is just right.

    #1210626
    gingerbeardhs
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I was thinking through it today and it occured to me that I might be able to get a drill shirt that matches more with the polo I’m thinking about getting, then I will be able to offer options.

    Bert: I find the drill shirt more comfortable too. There is also the potential problem of body odour that plastic shirts can have. My experiences with ironing comes from a background of putting them in the dryer. Wrinkles tend to be more prominent.

    Elissa: It would niggle me if the shirts were not ironed, the crispness adds to the professional touch, though that is just me.

    The ginger beard is not part of the uniform (though encouraged :-) ). Thanks for your feedback about the logo, I’m really impressed with it too (I got it from Logo Now http://www.logonow.com.au)

    #1210627
    Greg_M
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    Drill shirts are the go, much more professional (and comfortable) imo….hand out polo’s to site staff and they finish up like grotty painting rags.

    Your competition is probably wearing dirty Hi Vis, set yourself apart with a touch of class.

    When I started my trade I was told…if you can’t be a tradesman yet, you can at least look like one. That meant clean (sometimes ironed even) khaki overalls (trades had different colours) with a sharp pencil in the top pocket, a clean ruler in the leg pocket and a clip behind the ear if I didn’t comply…now it’s track pants, hoody’s and bad manners.

    There’s nothing wrong with tough dress standards if you’re working inside private homes and my experience has been householders prefer ‘sharp’ to sloppy dress and attitudes (which is the norm).

    If staff don’t like it, point them to Centrelink, it’s your brand and your business.

    #1210628
    gingerbeardhs
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    Thanks Greg, I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks drill shirts look classier.

    I also think that it sends the subtle hint that if I put care into how I look, I put care into the work I do, but I wasn’t sure if it was something that most people look past or if it actually meant something.

    #1210629
    Greg_M
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    gingerbeardhs, post: 251427, member: 84763 wrote:
    Thanks Greg, I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks drill shirts look classier.

    I also think that it sends the subtle hint that if I put care into how I look, I put care into the work I do, but I wasn’t sure if it was something that most people look past or if it actually meant something.

    My experience has been that it does, especially when you have access to peoples and businesses private property and assets.

    You treat your work like an engineer should, thorough, based on a sound knowledge of what you’re doing and delivered for a fair return.

    Clients worth having will respect that and refer you to others with a similar approach to life, let the bargain hunters go to Cheap as Chips.

    Your staff should have the same attitude imo…for my money that’s your ‘brand’if you like to look at it that way.

    Cheers

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