Qualithoughts by: Dovile Balciunaite, Founder of MyGate2Success, Life Coach for Confidence, Image Consultant, Speaker and Corporate Trainer
As competition among companies becomes ever tougher they need to use all available methods to strengthen their position, win a new audience and stand out of the crowd. One such method is to create a good corporate image.
The positive image of the company increases its competitiveness in the market. It is proven to attract new business and accelerate sales through a successfully implemented corporate image policy. Such a policy requires planning, implementation and compliance, which works through four distinctive channels:
1. Visual: formal wear, demeanor.
2. Verbal: speech, public appearances, interviews, articles, business correspondence, the ability to carry a conversation on the phone.
3. Behavioral – legal and ethical, behavior in general.
4. Context – relation to other corporate images, which affects the image of the company as a whole.
Clothes describe a person without words. From the way we dress conclusions are drawn about our personal characteristics, social status and attitude to work.
“Do not judge a book by its cover”, unfortunately, in the corporate world of today, that is exactly what happens so it is important to convey the right message through our image. Personality, social status and attitude to work are a few of the dimensions that our image portrays of us, it is the same for a corporate identity. The employee’s attitude, dress code and corporate culture determine how clients see us.
For example, seeing a man in an expensive, well-fitted suit, we assimilate him with greater competencies and positive qualities, rather than one dressed in faded jeans and a t-shirt. This is one of the laws of the psychology of perception. It certainly should be considered, especially in a business where success depends on the ability to properly present oneself. Clothing as a tool for business development is reflected in this concept as a “dress code”.
The dress-code is a component of the corporate culture and corporate image of the company. A fundamental feature here, is the need to maintain the professional image and reputation of the firm. In this context, the dress code is THE way to stand out among competitors, express a professional business approach and just plain and simple good taste. The second feature is the proven ability of the corporate dress code to positively impact employee working mood and focus. “If people come to work in casual clothes, their mood will be casual too, and in our office it is not acceptable. What we do, in any case should not be casual – we should try to be the best in everything, “- says one top director of a large multinational company.
Another important function of the dress code is its ability to unite employees and foster a cohesive team. When the appearance of employees is governed by the same set of rules, they feel part of a whole and gain a sense of ownership. This kind of transformation is very important when a team is working to achieve a common goal. Many companies’, including large multinationals, dress-code guidelines exist either as unwritten rules in the minds of employees, or as oral explanations by the leadership about what colors, shapes, silhouettes and accessories employees should wear.
Unfortunately, not all employees have a clear vision about how they should look like in the workplace which creates a risk that the appearance of such an employee may distort the perception a customer has of the company. In order to prevent such incidents, it is essential for a company to create a code, which clearly sets out the appearance guidelines an employee should respect.