Originally published 9 June 2017
Updated 13 May 2020
The Secrets to Selecting a Uniform Your Staff Will Love
A knight’s armour is crafted to instil fear in his opponents. A police officer’s uniform is designed to convey authority. A footballer’s kit should inspire confidence and team spirit. When selecting a bespoke staff uniform for your team, it’s important to consider what you’re trying to achieve. Work uniforms should help you achieve your business objectives, whether that is to enhance the authority of your staff or build team spirit.
Since 1977, WISE Worksafe has helped thousands of companies throughout the UK to “work safe” by providing industry-standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We have also helped those same organisations introduce work uniforms to ensure their people “work smart” by supplying high-quality garments and branding that offer the comfort and aesthetics required to boost staff morale and performance. We have created bespoke staff uniforms for small teams and large enterprises — our personalised service is designed to meet the individual needs of each business.
In this blog post, we’ll share our decades of experience and reveal the secrets of choosing a uniform your team will love to wear. We’ll cover not only the importance of branding but also other vital considerations you need to make around the materials used and functionality offered by the garments.
Ask Your Staff: Bespoke Staff Uniforms Need to Make Your Team Happy!
Your people need to know you care about them, and they must be listened to when it comes to their staff uniform. A classic example of this is Southwest Airlines, the popular airline renowned for its world-class employee and customer-centric culture. Last year, it announced the launch of a new uniform "designed by employees for employees". Before the airline committed to a new uniform, it invited staff to test items for fit, comfort, performance, functionality, durability, aesthetics, style and ease of care.
Before reviewing your uniform, we recommend that you take the time to ask a broad selection of your staff for feedback and suggestions.
Think about each job role and consider the tasks inherent in each position. Are individuals customer-facing? Do they work inside, outside or both? Do some face hazards they need protecting against? Will they wear certain items for prolonged periods and others only occasionally?
Remember to consider geographical differences too. Do some teams work in a wetter or colder environment? Are others exposed to excessive heat or sunlight? Do any of your employees travel abroad to different climates?
Your staff know the answers to these questions and will be more able to perform successfully and happily if they are provided with staff uniforms that meet their specific needs.
The process of eliciting staff feedback can be challenging. Employees will inevitably have different preferences and opinions, but employee input into garment selection is crucial for a successful launch and happy teams.
Speak to a member of our team for tips on how to coordinate staff feedback through dedicated workgroups and garment wearer trials.
Consider the Design and Appearance of Staff Uniforms
Just a stone's throw away from the industrial areas of many major cities are the high-rise offices that home our financial services and company’s administration organisations. Within these buildings, you’ll find sharply dressed office workers in three-piece suits, well-polished shoes and dapper ties.
Whether or not your staff are “suited and booted” in this way, they still need to feel stylish when stepping into their uniform. You want them to represent your brand as it is — consistent and high quality. Therefore, considering the design of your bespoke staff uniform is of paramount importance.
Choose Consistent Branding and Colours That Reflect Your Values
As touched upon in our article titled “5 Things to Consider When Carrying Out a Rebrand”, your branding must be well-thought-out and consistent throughout the organisation and customer journey. It should also subtly touch upon your core values and, if possible, mission statement. By aligning staff uniforms and branding with company values, the ethos and objectives of the business become embedded in the work culture. This can boost employee loyalty, morale and performance.
Decide if all employees should wear the same colours or whether to differentiate teams based on their job role or location. Consider what these colours mean and the perception people have of your company when they see your staff.
Think about the type of branding and positioning to ensure it wears well and displays perfectly on staff uniforms.
Don’t underestimate the scope you have to create a unique and living embodiment of your brand! Bespoke staff uniforms are the perfect vehicle for creating a walking advertisement for your company.
Comfortable Staff Uniforms Made from Quality Materials Will Last Longer
Uniform design and branding alone won’t necessarily depict the quality of your brand, nor will they guarantee that your staff are comfortable all year round, indoors or outside. You must also consider the materials used to make your uniform and the implications these may have for your staff from day to day.
Don’t forget the individual needs some staff may have concerning wellbeing and comfort. Be sure to cater to your staff member with a wool allergy, for example, or for vegans who can’t wear leather footwear. Consider UV protective garments for those more susceptible to sunburn.
Explore the pros and cons of each fabric, remembering to use the insight gained through your employee feedback. Discuss these challenges and requirements with your supplier to ensure that the time and resources you invest in bespoke staff uniforms are well spent.
Make Sure Your Staff Uniforms Are Fit for Purpose
Functionality is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting bespoke staff uniforms. It's the functionality of the garments that will be most likely to impact the efficiency of your staff and facilitate cost savings.
Our classic stud front coverall, for example, features an elastic waist to avoid any bagginess that could cause safety issues and offers four separate pockets to hold tools that are needed regularly.
The Craghoppers Kiwi long jacket and matching ladies’ Madigan long jacket have a zip-off adjustable hood to suit varying weather conditions and user preferences, as well as extra length in the body for greater rain protection when crouching or bending over.
This is where employee feedback is extremely helpful. Your staff will know how they work each day and what will facilitate (and hinder!) their performance when it comes to staff uniforms. What’s more, the supplier you work with may be able to advise on features that you had not previously considered, especially if they have worked with other companies within your sector.
Create a Bespoke Uniform Your Employees Will Love
By considering the areas outlined above, you can be assured that you will create a uniform that your team loves to wear.
With years of experience providing teams with beautifully designed and branded uniforms made from high-quality materials and offering maximum functionality, WISE Worksafe is among the top corporate clothing and workwear providers in the United Kingdom.
To learn more about our vast variety of corporate workwear and uniform, which also includes outdoor clothing and personal protective equipment, browse our online store or speak to a friendly member of our team on 020 8381 1811.