Branding and worker safety are the two most common reasons for requiring workwear uniforms. And by ‘uniforms’ we don’t mean off-the-rack clothing purchased at a big box retailer to meet an employer’s color and style requirements. We’re talking about purpose-made uniforms that, at the end of the day, do not constitute street wear.
While branding and worker safety are especially important, let’s go beyond that to discuss something that is less frequently talked about: inspiring confidence by what you wear at work. It may be more important than you or your team realize.
Psychology Today contributor Arthur Dobrin, D.S.W., wrote a piece some years back talking about the ever-important first impression. He talked about the “halo effect,” which is a psychological effect that causes the human brain to associate first impressions with personality traits and characteristics.
One of Dobrin’s examples was that of meeting an extremely friendly person at a party. Later, when trying to raise money for a charitable cause, you contact that person under the assumption that he or she would be more than happy to give. Your first impressions of friendliness lead you to believe that —correctly or incorrectly — the friendly person is also charitable.
First impressions are extremely important; we know that. The business world has lived by this principle for as long as any of us can remember. Create the right first impression and you will inspire confidence in customers. It is just that simple.
Nowhere is the confidence principle demonstrated more clearly right now than in the health care sector. The coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of everything we do. As such, we expect to see health care workers dressed in PPE when we visit hospitals, clinics, etc.
We expect to see two- and three-ply face masks being worn by office personnel and clinicians alike. In the exam room, we expect to see face masks and isolation gowns. In some cases, there is even the expectation of head-to-toe protection that includes face shields and gloves.
In today’s environment, stepping into a health clinic and discovering no one wearing PPE would not inspire much confidence. Some patients might be so unsettled by such a scene that they would turn around and walk out, which means that PPE is as important for patient confidence as it is for patient health.
Health care PPE very clearly demonstrates the importance of first impressions, but what about work uniforms in general? They also inspire confidence. For example, consider Alsco route service representatives. Our route personnel wear Alsco-branded high-visibility uniforms for the exact same reasons we recommend them to others.
Do you have more confidence in a uniformed representative or in someone dressed in street clothes? We would wager the former. Our uniforms enable service personnel to present a professional image, which inspires confidence in them and in what we are doing.
Not requiring uniforms of our route personnel would ultimately give our customers the impression that we are quite casual about our business—we are anything but. We take our business very seriously for the benefit of our customers. The professional image we present demonstrates that.
Uniforms absolutely do help with branding. Certain uniforms keep workers safer. A uniform of any kind contributes to that all-important first impression. And because it does, we encourage our customers to think of their uniforms as a way to inspire confidence.
Want to know more? Contact us to learn how professional uniforms can benefit your company by improving first impressions among your customers.