From the Wires
Is the Writing on the Wall for Scruffy Employees?
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 27, 2012 03:01 AM
LONDON, November 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
With the Metropolitan Police banning offensive tattoos and HMV introducing a dress code, new research by YouGov for HR experts, Croner (http://www.cronersolutions.co.uk), backs employers who want to smarten up their workforce. Almost half (49%) of British adults surveyed agree that it is unacceptable for front-line workers to have a non-professional appearance.
Croner, part of global information services business Wolters Kluwer, commissioned the research after it found an increasing number of employers were contacting its employment advisory service with questions on how to handle staff appearance issues.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, over a quarter (28%) of people surveyed say it is more acceptable for front-line workers such as shop assistants and bar staff to have a less than "professional" appearance, while far fewer said it is more acceptable for nurses and police officers (4%).
However when asked what would put them off approaching a shop assistant, the main offender was scruffy clothes (48%), ahead of tattoos (21%) and facial piercings (37%).
Louise Barnes, a Senior Employment Consultant at Croner, says: "In the last 10 years or so people's attitudes to what they should wear, and how they look for work, have changed. As a result employers have adopted a more casual approach with measures such as dress-down Fridays. However, our survey demonstrates that we have reached the point where some employees are unsure of the acceptable boundaries and are failing to meet the standards their bosses want.
"As our research shows, it is really important for customer-facing staff to look presentable, particularly at this time of year when the footfall at shops such as HMV dramatically increases. Our advice to employers facing problems of employee appearance is to think about what image their business wants employees to portray. What is acceptable at one company may not be right elsewhere. Whatever an employer decides they must consult with their employees to make sure they do not have an adverse impact on, for example, one particular sex or race, or individuals holding a particular religion or belief."
Croner offers the following best practice tips for employers wanting to implement a dress code policy:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,185 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st October-2nd November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
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