We all know that first impressions, both verbal and visual, count for a lot. That’s why I was surprised to learn that not every medical practice has a “dress code” policy. The image that is presented by office staff is so important.
The policy should be specific enough not to leave doubt. It’s not sufficient to say that clothing should be clean and pressed. What is and is not appropriate should be spelled out. For example, is denim allowed? What is the requirement of tops? Also, the issue of shoes should be addressed.
Keeping in mind different jobs may require different dress codes. A nurse or lab technician who is on his/her feet all day may be allowed sneakers, whereas a front receptionist may not. It’s easier to meet an expectation when you know what it is.
Also included in the dress code should be clearly stated consequences for not following the rules. The employee will not be surprised if they are sent home if they are told in advance.
Most of all, encourage employees to take pride in their appearance. Everyone benefits when they look and feel good.
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.