So You've Got Your New Uniform: What to Consider Next
First off - congratulations on becoming the new owner of a collection of employee uniforms for your company! That's a big step to take in terms of safety, branding and quality assurance.
The good news is, you've done the hard yards of designing a uniform that meets the needs of your business and the individual employees within it - but the process doesn't end there.
Here's what you need to consider once you've designed and purchased your new company uniform to make sure things run smoothly and you get the maximum return on your investment.
1. Write a Uniform Policy
The first thing to consider is how you're going to manage the individual's responsibility to look after their uniform and adhere to your processes within your company. At the end of the day, you want your employees to stay safe and presentable, so it's important to create a guideline that enables them to do so.
- Writing a uniform policy that's tailored to different roles. If your company is multi-faceted with different roles and teams, sometimes a 'one-size-fits-all' approach isn't always the best.
- Ensuring that your uniform policy is fair and understanding of diversity. it's important not to have discriminatory rules towards different genders, religions and races.
- Being very precise with language and instructions. Tell your employees exactly what you expect from them in writing, so that nothing can be misconstrued. If you want your uniforms washed every second day - state this. Try not to use words like 'smart-casual' and 'semi-formal' which are entirely open to interpretation
For more information on the do's and don'ts of writing a uniform policy, check out our recent blog: Guide to Creating a Foolproof Employee Uniform Policy.
2. Create a Uniform Inventory
You've just made a big investment in a uniform you're proud of, and it's been sent out to the staff you currently employ. It's really important that you set up a robust process for managing your uniform inventory from the get go, so that you're always aware of how many uniforms you have on hand, sizes, turnover and the costs you're incurring.
Fortunately, there are some great, free uniform management software solutions available for use, that range from simple spreadsheet capability, to drag and drop platforms that allow you to manage multiple staff, and locations.
Of course, if you're a larger scale business, we'd recommend looking into investing your dollars into a user-paid software for managing uniform inventory. This way you'll be able to account for a high number of staff, locations, garments and their cost.
At Arrow Uniforms, we run a software solution that will take the time-heavy task of managing uniforms off your hands, as well as affording your staff the autonomy they need to always be well equipped and presented professionally: you can check out the full range of benefits, here.
3. Arrange Laundry and Maintenance
If you want your uniform to be maintained and upheld to a high standard, it's likely that you, the employer, will need to consider how you're going to clean and look after your employees uniforms.
Typically, this requires a regimented schedule and plan. If you have the amenities and resource to wash your staff uniforms on site, this is a fantastic option to consider as it can be quite cost effective. Of course, if you don't have those resources, it's important to arrange an outsourced laundry service to take care of your uniform maintenance.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to document your processes, look into the costs thoroughly and communicate to your staff the expectations you have and deadlines for turning their uniforms in for maintenance.
4. Plan for Change
In a business environment, there are so many things that can change quickly and effect the way you operate your uniform inventory:
- Staff leaving and incoming new staff (turnover) means new people requiring new sizing, and old uniforms made redundant
- Different roles emerging as your business grows might require rethinking your uniform materials/functionality
- Design updates and changes. In a very short time, the entire branding of a business can change
- Financial growth or decline might effect your ability to upkeep or purchase new uniforms
Now that you have a full uniform for your company, we'd recommend taking some time to consider how things might change in the future, and having a plan in place for how you are going to negate this.
5. Ask for Feedback
Last but not least, always ask for feedback. The people who are going to know in-depth how your uniform is performing and what can be improved are you staff who wear your uniform every day.
Once your new uniform has been in rotation for a few months, we'd recommend asking for feedback from your staff. That way, if you need to make any changes to your uniform or design a new one in the future, you're armed with insight.
Want assistance in your uniform inventory management? We can help. Get in touch with our friendly team and they'll provide useful advice and point you in the right direction.