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Can Dress Codes Affect Employee Retention and Performance?

Can Dress Codes Affect Employee Retention and Performance?


Stepping into the 21st century, one of the biggest problems a lot of employers face is obtaining qualified candidates to fill their positions and keeping them there. The smartest employers have turned to inward policies to look for answers, which can sometimes be found in the smallest company-implemented policies like the company dress code. Could it be possible that simply how you require employees to dress has such a major impact on not only attracting interested candidates, but also performance and retention? It is quite possibly so, and here is a look at why.

Relaxing dress code policies could mean happier employees.

Relaxing dress code policies is no new idea, but it has only recently started to be a major topic of discussion among corporations who are looking for good ways to keep their employees feeling satisfied and willing to stick around. Take for example Starbucks, who recently mellowed out their dress code policy by allowing employees to pick the color shirts they want to wear and even allowing employees to swap the usual Starbucks cap or visor for a hat of their choice, whether it is a baseball cap or fedora. This change frees up self-expression for the employees, which can make them more confident in their daily roles and more content in their positions overall.

A less-daunting dress code policy is more appealing to potential employees.

The dress code policy usually does not come up during recruitment until a person is well on their way to being hired. So that means if there is something about the policy they don’t like, by that time, you have already spent a lot of time, money, and effort to get them in the door. With a dress code that is less restrictive, you will have individuals who will be less likely to be scared away because they don’t like uniforms or they don’t want to have to buy new clothing just to get a job.

Your more relaxed dress code can help employees better connect with customers.

One of the side bonuses of relaxing your dress code policy is doing so can help your employees better connect with customer. Employees who are dressed in clothes that make them feel good about who they are, can often feel more confident about interacting with people they don’t know. Not only this, but the change can give customers a different perception of employees, making them appear more approachable.