Is price really the most important consideration in uniform procurement?

Recently on a visit to my local pathology clinic for a routine blood test, I got talking to the nurse who was on duty about her uniform, as it was a garment that I recognized well.

I asked her if she was happy with the style, which then started a whole discussion around how their uniforms were ordered and supplied.

As it turned out, she wasn’t overly happy, and explained how the process of ordering was remote, there had been no samples for her to try, and so when her uniform arrived, she found it was too tight and short in the arm.

Now it is a fact that many women don’t like their arms showing, and will avoid having to wear anything that is sleeveless or short sleeved if they have aging, exceptionally thin or large arms. A ¾ sleeve is much more flattering and allows the wearer to feel confident and not self-conscious.

When I informed her it was available in a ¾ sleeve, she just looked at me somewhat annoyed and then proceeded to show me how she had altered the garment in order to extend the arms. She had cut around the hemline to add length to each sleeve, thereby changing the whole look of the garment.Was this acceptable? She didn’t know, all she wanted was to feel good in what she had to wear to work.

I am sure there are many women in a range of industries, who are wearing garments that they wouldn’t be seen dead in if they had the choice.

The point I am making is, where in the procurement process do you consider whether your staff will be happy in the garments you decide to implement as standard uniform?

When does price override the emotional pride an employee will feel when they dress in a uniform that actually looks good, performs well and compliments their body shape and proportions?

Considering there are numerous reports and studies that support the notion that what you wear has a direct correlation to not only how you are perceived by others, but also how you perform, how a company can choose a range of garments that will de-motivate staff, and portray a less than acceptable image to their customers is beyond comprehension.

If an employee doesn’t want to be seen in their uniform because of how it looks and fits, what’s the result? They might choose to not wear it at all and replace it with any old shirt or top, or wear it begrudgingly. In both of these scenarios, your brand is left open, compromised and vulnerable to misrepresentation of the values and image you really want to communicate.

Another result is, they might leave, resentful that there is no care and consideration to what they have to wear for work, meaning you lose a valued employee and have to incur the costs of rehiring which everyone knows is substantial.

Are the savings you make on price really worth it in the long run when the staff is reluctant to wear the uniform at all?

Working with a professional who understands style, image and how women in particular actually feel about what they wear can help you design a wardrobe of functional, safe, stylish and practical garments that will accommodate the varying shapes and sizes of your staff, keep them happy, proud to dress for work, and project the corporate image you are seeking to communicate and grow your business.

Your investment in taking time to fully appreciate and evaluate this element of uniform procurement and rebranding will give you a far greater return in the long term with a great looking professional team, positive culture and quality staff that are attracted to a company that cares about its people who are the life and blood of your business.

If you want to explore and evaluate how your company can employ a more effective uniform solution to further benefit your staff and brand, contact me now at