Trish Barnes on October 6, 2015
5 Common Dress Code Violations and How to Address Them
Many companies implement some type of dress code policy to ensure that staff look professional and acceptable. But what happens when employees violate your dress code and show up wearing clothing that’s unacceptable? Let’s take a look at five common dress code violations and discuss how to effectively address them.
1) Dressing Overly Casual
While you may have Casual Fridays or allow employees to dress “business casual,” this isn’t an invitation to take it to extremes and go overboard. Unfortunately, the definition of casual can be a subjective term, and it’s common for some employees to under dress to the point that it’s unprofessional. For instance, you probably don’t want your staff showing up wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops when delivering an important presentation.
2) Being Too Revealing
When temperatures rise, it’s a natural human inclination to wear lighter clothing and expose some skin. As a result, wearing too little clothing can be a considerable problem in late spring and summer months when traditional attire like a suit can be uncomfortable. While you may want to accommodate the comfort needs of your employees by allowing something like button-up short sleeved shirts, it’s an issue if they’re coming in with tank tops.
3) Wearing Jeans
Although jeans are perfectly acceptable in some professions, they’re simply a no-no in many high-profile positions. Unfortunately, some employees will try to push the boundaries and wear jeans even if slacks or dress pants are company policy.
4) Wearing Wrinkled Clothing
Because of the fast-paced world we live in, time can be a precious commodity, and not everyone has the time to ensure that their clothing is clean, pressed and wrinkle-free. As a result, you may encounter employees whose attire looks sloppy and unprofessional due to wrinkles.
5) Exposing Tattoos
With tattoos becoming more and more mainstream in today’s culture, it’s common to see some of the brightest minds and top talent wearing them. Consequently, it puts many employers in a position where they need to establish policies to ensure that tattoos are covered. Hearkening back to the issue of being too revealing, employees may be tempted to wear clothing that exposes tattoos during warmer weather.
How to Address the Problem
If you’re finding consistent problems with dress code violations, you’ll want to tweak your dress code policy so that it’s as specific as possible and all details are covered. Make sure that it’s clear what’s acceptable and what isn’t to eliminate any confusion among your staff. It’s also smart to include examples to add clarity.
When an employee directly violates your dress code, you should discuss the matter in a private location where you can speak one-on-one to avoid embarrassment on their end. Start by asking if there was a specific reason why they violated the dress code, and check to make sure that it’s not due to something like their religious affiliation or a disability.
Assuming that it’s not, you’ll want to explain the exact aspect of your dress code that they’re violating and tell them why it’s unacceptable. If it’s something relatively minor, it’s usually easiest to allow them to remain at work for the day and adjust their attire accordingly going forth. However, if it’s more major, you may want to send them home for the day. Also, explain that continued violations will result in disciplinary actions or potentially termination to prevent future issues.
By addressing dress code violations head on, you can ensure that your employees dress appropriately. At the same time, you can minimize clothing related issues and maintain a more professional workplace environment.