Summer is coming! Summer is coming! And with warmer weather comes the desire to wear open-toed shoes, shorts, dresses and shoulder revealing shirts. As a medical practice, your employees are the representation of your practice; they are often the first and last person patients see before leaving. Establishing a dress code is important if you want to ensure you come off as a professional institution.
Before it gets too hot, you should review your current dress code policy. This way you can amend items that are outdated and also provide your employees with this information well in advance.
Write it out
When in doubt, write it down. This is especially true with a dress code policy. You can’t ask someone to go home and change their outfit if you don’t have a written policy that can be referenced.
You should also be as clear as possible when coming up with your policy. In the summer months, the word casual is often thrown around. But what does that mean? Since most of your employees see patients, your definition of casual is different than that of an office (and especially different from a hip, millennial-run business).
Not only does creating an official dress code policy help you decide how you want your employees representing your brand; it can also help ensure safety. Open toed shoes and flip-flops generally violate a safety or infection control regulation.
Send out reminders
Before the heat hits, it is important to send out a reminder to your staff about what is expected of them in the summer months. While business casual may be your office’s norm, it is not uncommon for practices to take on a more relaxed dress code during the hot months.
It is always better to send out an email with the dress code policy well in advance (and maybe post a copy in the break room), to not only remind employees but also to educate the ones you have hired over the past year that are unfamiliar with your summer requirements.
Sending out this information in advance gives your staff members plenty of time to prepare and also to ask any questions they may have. No one wants to get sent home to change.
Listen to your staff
Clothing changes and dress codes evolve. It is worth listening to your employees and taking their input to heart. For instance, years ago you were only allowed to have piercings in your ear and tattoos were not to be shown. Now, it is almost impossible to find a candidate meeting those criteria.
With summer coming, it is important to be prepared. Creating a comprehensive dress code is a simple way to start the process.