Ask Ms FM Manners – Employee Dress

This begins our occasional series on facility management etiquette, “Ask Ms. FM Manners”. Please post future questions (or alternative answers) in the comment section below

Dear Miss FM Manners: Our company does not have a written dress code, but some of my employees don’t seem to understand business casual dress from ultra casual (SLOPPY) dress. How do I inform employees in my department about the appropriate dress?

Gentle FM Reader:

As it is your duty to manage the employees in your department, it would be most appropriate to discuss desirable dress in your staff meetings, explaining that business casual dress has certain requirements including the standard dress codes you expect. You would also be wise to provide examples of attire that does not meet business casual conformance such as flip-flop shoes, revealing (at the top or bottom) garments and un-ironed or unclean clothing. It may also be a good idea to have your own written dress code for your department if the company does not provide these guidelines. This can help to avoid any unnecessary confusion and debate. Having your employees help to develop the dress code in a staff meeting might help to increase employee buy-in to the final codes and will also give them a chance to discuss potential options for your input.

It is not appropriate to embarrass employees by shaming them in front of others, so your generic, pro-active discussions on the matter are the best approach.