Creating, adopting and enforcing a dress code can oftentimes seem like a simple process, but for any employer, it is important to recognize potential pitfalls. As with any company policy, it is important to keep in mind that you’ll need to enforce it consistently and address any violations. If you run a larger organization, you’re team leaders and managers will also need to do the same. Overall, we recommend you consider the following important items when creating a company dress code:
- Be clear about things you don’t want to see in the workplace. Terms like “business casual” can be very vague and vary from industry to industry, so they don’t give enough guidance to employees. If you you don’t want them wearing sandals, shorts, sleeveless shirts, etc., say so.
- Avoid gender-based rules. These could expose you to discrimination claims.
- Avoid rules that require a ruler (e.g., skirts must be no more than two inches above the knee). Enforcing these could prove uncomfortable for both managers and employees.
- Consider different rules for different positions or departments. It would be reasonable, for example, to have stricter rules for customer-facing positions.
- Consider the culture of your workplace and where you’d like to take it. If you have and want to maintain a fun, casual culture, you should probably avoid a dress code that requires formal attire.