Dressing for Success

by Ryan Green

Enforcing a company dress code in a small office can be tricky if you are also trying to maintain a non-corporate/stuff atmosphere. This is especially difficult if the majority of your employees do not interact with clients on a regular basis.

Here at RDM we tried to create a dress code that works with our office environment, but also helps assure that our staff will look professional in the event that we have visitors - clients, vendors, partners, or friends.

There is another aspect to dress code policies besides controlling our company standards. When enforcing our policy we emphasize that one needs to dress for success. Taking care in one’s appearance can help project the image of a successful, ambitious professional. In a new CareerBuilder.com survey, 41 percent of employers said that people who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their organization.

RDM does not have an HR Department at this time and I often serve in this capacity along with other executives at the company. As the Executive Director would much rather spend my time increasing business and running the operations of our company than checking to make sure everyone is wearing proper footwear. We have found that keeping our dress code limited and simple is easiest to enforce and to follow. If one of our employees does not follow the dress code it is easy to notice and address the situation.

We have selected only a handful of items that are off limits and otherwise ask our staff to dress neatly and appropriately for their day. This means shirts should be tucked in when outside of the office, pants should not be too baggy, and short sleeved shirts should not be too casual (sports jerseys, concert t-shirts).
We also provide our whole staff with some RDM clothing. We have t-shirts, polo shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and fleece vest all embroidered with the RDM logo. Wearing RDM gear is mandatory for Project Technicians working in the field, but this clothing is also a casual option for anyone working in the office.

Vermon Francis wearing his RDM vest. He is also wearing jeans, which work because they are appropriate for the active job of conducting building surveys, and also because his jeans and footwear look neat and professional.