Q: I work as messenger at a medium-sized auditing firm in Nakuru. Most of my colleagues dress casually all week in total defiance of the company’s policy on dress code. I am the only person in my team who has consistently been observing dressing regulations, for which I have been ridiculed and taunted. The management does not seem to care anymore about how members of staff dress. Should I toe the line, or remain steadfast?
It is always good to be compliant to company policies and procedures because they exist for a reason.
Many employers have dress code policies for diverse reasons and before you give up and join your colleagues, it would be good to check and be sure that your employer still prefers to keep the dress code as is and if not, you can adjust accordingly as you would not be breaking any rules.
Of most important though is to understand why employers have these policies, some very strict while, others encourage business casual arrangements and still others allow complete dress down.
Most dress code policies aim at ensuring that employees dress appropriately to portray the right employer branding to internal and external customers. Employers who prefer this approach believe that image is everything, that first impressions matter and tend to encourage formal dressing.
Other policies may focus on employee comfort, prescribing a dress code that allows employees to dress smartly but still in a way that is presentable to both internal and external customers.
In such a policy, employees would be free to dress down from official suits, ties, skirt suits to less formal jackets, sweaters and dresses. Other employers require a standard dress code for safety of their employees, depending on duties performed.
Such policies may require a uniform in form of a dress, head gear, shoes which is not only important for safety of the employee but also for the product under development.
But most importantly the policy notwithstanding, it is how one choses to present themselves at the workplace that defines their brand, and opens doors to build relationships.
How we dress is quite important as it influences to a greater extend how we feel about ourselves.
Dress for success and you will feel the drive, desire and confidence to succeed.
The way you dress and groom yourself will always have a great impact on how you are perceived, respected and hence listened to by others.
You have taken a stand to stand out from the crowd and you should not feel compelled to lower your personal preference to please others. As they say, be yourself, everyone else is taken.