Deciding to buy corporate clothing or workwear for your team for the first time can be exciting. You have a company logo and you have decided on a colour. Here are 10 pitfalls to avoid saving you time and money when choosing clothing for your employees.
- Dont go cheap – if you cant afford to buy reasonable quality clothing then wait until you can. It really is a false economy and the old saying “Buy Cheap Buy Twice” still holds true. Products will lose their shape, colours will fade, embroidered logo’s won’t have sharp edges – it will be a mess after just a few months.
- Make sure it fits – this follows on from the above statement really. Not all your staff will be XL or Medium. Nothing looks worse than ill fitting clothing and your staff will stop wearing it. So buying a job lot of XXL Sweat Shirts or trousers probably wont work. Ask you workwear supplier to send you a sizing chart, print off a few and get your team to put their sizes on. Generally there will not be any price differences between sizes so there is no excuse for not getting it right first time.
- Buy them more than one – to expect people to manage with one of everything during a whole working week is unrealistic and unfair. Polo’s and T Shirts should be washed at least three times a week ( in my opinion ) people will struggle to launder, dry and iron over night particularly during the winter. People will just stop wearing it. The ideal quantity is ” One to wear, one to wash and a spare ” for blouses, polos and shirts – two pairs of trousers or skirts and one jacket.
- Consult your staff – discuss your plans with your team and understand that your senior manager may have different idea of what looks good compared to the 17 year old new starter…
- Be practical – I know this is obvious, but there is a reason that bar staff and servers dont usually wear white. Navy, Black, Grey, Maroon are more practical and dont show marks so easily
- Think about the seasons – when it starts to get colder, consider adding fleeces or jumpers to your stock. If staff need to go outside during the course of their job and it is cold and raining it is worth providing with them with outdoor coats and dont forget to discuss with your Health and Safety Manager to see if they need to wear any Hi -Vis clothing.
- Try to avoid personalising clothing – if you have a Bartholemew working for you in accounts and he decides to leave, you are stuck with his clothing unless you employ another Bartholemew !
- Have a few spares in stock – accidents happen, people forget, new starters arrive… have a couple of items in the cupboard just in case.
- Buy clothing that is appropriate for the job… discuss with your team and your Health and Safety Manager….
- Employee Religious and Cultural Beliefs – Whilst making sure your company’s image is the best it can be, you can only be as good as your employees perform.A failure to recognise those employees with particular religious and ethnic concerns within your workwear can transmit a lack of thought. Also, it will put the company in breach of The Equality Act 2010.
Remember, you can’t please everyone. As hard as it is to accept, people will always complain.
However, by doing the right risk analysis regarding employee concerns and happiness, you can limit the amount the amount of complaints and ease the transition along as smoothly as possible.
Stay organised and conduct reasonable research into what your employees want from their workwear and what your budget is. In doing so, you ensure that you get the best return from your investment and that there is not a frequent need for placing workwear orders.