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Workfact Wednesday: Dress Codes

Salary.com surveyed 4,600 people about office dress codes and found that whether employees are donned in T-shirts and jeans or strictly formal attire, it’s clear people everywhere are making assumptions about your employees—and by extension, you and your business—that relate to intelligence, professionalism and work ethic.

Make Your Dress Code Policy Clear
Many people who took our survey disagreed as to whether or not they like dress codes. Some feel it fosters professionalism and hard work, while others refuse to believe wearing jeans somehow detracts from your job performance.

But even though our respondents differed about dress codes in general, people on both sides agreed that uncertainty breeds confusion which can lead to serious problems.

More than 3 percent surveyed said they’re not even sure if they have a dress code. So whether or not a company implements a dress code is actually secondary to making it clearly understood and enforcing it fairly.

“I do not know of an official dress code at my company, rather it seems to depend on who your particular manager is, and even then is only selectively enforced,” said one person. Another agreed and said “Our dress code is nonexistent and essentially established within each department. Some people are wearing suits and others flip-flops. It’s very haphazard and gives an unprofessional image.”

Many Employees Want a More Structured Dress Code
The majority of people who took the survey said they are satisfied with their company’s dress code policy. But after that, the results are surprising.

Nearly one-quarter of respondents said the dress codes in their workplaces are too lenient. Readers regaled us with horror stories involving low cut tops, ripped jeans, sandals and exposed tattoos and body piercings they deemed inappropriate for an office setting.

One respondent issued a cautionary tale and said “We let one instance go and then before we knew it, everyone was in flip-flops and stretch pants.” And he wasn’t alone in seeking strict wardrobe rules.

“I believe people who dress professionally tend to be more professional on the job,” he said. “Dressing in jeans and a T-shirt does not exude professionalism, especially when you are seated in close proximity to an executive dressed in a suit.”

Workfact Wednesday: Dress Codes in the Office

Salary.com surveyed 4,600 people about office dress codes and found that whether employees are donned in T-shirts and jeans or strictly formal attire, it’s clear people everywhere are making assumptions about your employees—and by extension, you and your business—that relate to intelligence, professionalism and work ethic.

Make Your Dress Code Policy Clear
Many people who took our survey disagreed as to whether or not they like dress codes. Some feel it fosters professionalism and hard work, while others refuse to believe wearing jeans somehow detracts from your job performance.

But even though our respondents differed about dress codes in general, people on both sides agreed that uncertainty breeds confusion which can lead to serious problems.

More than 3 percent surveyed said they’re not even sure if they have a dress code. So whether or not a company implements a dress code is actually secondary to making it clearly understood and enforcing it fairly.

“I do not know of an official dress code at my company, rather it seems to depend on who your particular manager is, and even then is only selectively enforced,” said one person. Another agreed and said “Our dress code is nonexistent and essentially established within each department. Some people are wearing suits and others flip-flops. It’s very haphazard and gives an unprofessional image.”

Many Employees Want a More Structured Dress Code
The majority of people who took the survey said they are satisfied with their company’s dress code policy. But after that, the results are surprising.

Nearly one-quarter of respondents said the dress codes in their workplaces are too lenient. Readers regaled us with horror stories involving low cut tops, ripped jeans, sandals and exposed tattoos and body piercings they deemed inappropriate for an office setting.

One respondent issued a cautionary tale and said “We let one instance go and then before we knew it, everyone was in flip-flops and stretch pants.” And he wasn’t alone in seeking strict wardrobe rules.

“I believe people who dress professionally tend to be more professional on the job,” he said. “Dressing in jeans and a T-shirt does not exude professionalism, especially when you are seated in close proximity to an executive dressed in a suit.”

Tip Tuesday: 6 Tips on Hiring For the Long Haul

(from Inc. magazine online)hiring 1

One big hiring rule of thumb is to be sure the job candidate knows that the employer is a candidate as much as he or she is a candidate. By being humble and treating the candidate as an equal, you can actually create better long-term employment relationships.

This gets to the heart of  “hiring for retention.” Too many business owners treat employee retention as something to do after they hire someone – things like annual bonuses and free lunches on Fridays. But retention actually starts during the recruiting process.

Why? Retention has a lot to do with ensuring cultural fit from the get-go, and not merely incentivizing happiness. Of all U.S. employees who left their jobs last year, 40 percent did so within six months of starting the position – strongly pointing to bad cultural fit as one of the main culprits.

Imagine if those employees and businesses had assessed one another more accurately from the start. Here are six tips to do just that.
1. Create more choice: Greater choice gives you a better chance of finding someone with the right mix of skills, experience and personality traits. Search all the places where top people are, including your colleagues’ networks–the best source of quality candidates–as well as, your careers site, job boards, recruitment firms and mobile channels.

2. Hire for attitude, not aptitude: Knowledge and skills are certainly important for making a long-term hire, but there’s also no discounting cultural fit. When deciding between the two, put personality first. You can train for skill. You can’t train for personality.

3. Broadcast your employer brand: Give candidates in-depth information about your employer brand and what it’s like to work with you. Fill your culture Web page and social media with regularly updated content about life at your company. This helps candidates decide if they align with your mission and personality and whether they see themselves being happy with you for the long haul.

4. Foster high-touch relationships: Engage with candidates through several different interactions, such as in-person interviews, lunches, dinners, email correspondences and phone conversations. Have your entire hiring team meet with candidates to gain a full understanding of whether you see a long-lasting match.

5. Let candidates know you are a candidate, too: Hiring for retention requires you and a candidate to mutually decide to work together. During interviews, let candidates know that they are choosing you just as much as you are choosing them. Ask if they have questions and provide the information you would like to have if you were in their shoes.

6. Always be closing the best candidate: Don’t dawdle when you’ve found the best candidate. Average time to hire is about 25 working days, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure. But I’ve found that the best candidate gets snatched up within two weeks. You have to close a candidate to make the relationship happen–not the other way around. If you don’t manage this step well, you often settle for less than the best.

Hiring for retention should be part of every company’s business strategy. Long-term growth hinges on having long-lasting team members, who provide far greater productivity and value than a constantly rotating workforce.

Throwback Thursday: “I can give you the secret.”

andrew-carnegie-1On this day in 1885, Andrew Carnegie, in a speech at Pittsburgh’s Curry Commercial College, said: “I can give you the secret. It lies mainly in this. Instead of the question, ‘What must I do for my employer?’ substitute ‘What can I do?’…. he must do something exceptional, and beyond the range of his special department. He must attract attention.”

Workfact Wednesday: Soloprenuers

solopreneurs