Lisa Epstein, from Monster.ca, asked a great question on LinkedIn – Do workplaces need dress codes?
My answer? Absolutely not!
Employees within a professional business environment are adults and do not need to be babysat. When you hire someone, it is because you were impressed with his or her qualifications, background and professionalism. If you entrust them with getting the job done, why is it that you question their judgment skills when it comes to their trousers and shirts? I think it is part of old school mentality and old school way of management.
If someone else is going to be choosing what I need to be wearing, it is only a step way from choosing exactly what I am saying to customers, how I write my emails, how I conduct my presentations and client meetings, how I respond to phone calls and how I accomplish all my other tasks and responsibilities. At the end of the day, controlling and micromanaging your staff hardly fosters any creativity or inspires your employees. Certainly would drive me nuts!
If my superstar employee could live in her jeggings, what do I care, as long as she is brilliant at what she does? I would take that any time of the day over someone who dresses in flawlessly corporate attire, yet is mediocre at what he does. And look, if someone knows s/he will be meeting with a client, yet shows up in torn up jeans and a message T-shirt, their judgment skills must be lacking in other areas as well. And THAT is something for you to look into.
I am a strong believer that when you treat your staff like kids, they will undoubtedly start acting like kids. And since kids do need to be micromanaged to a point, you will be stuck in a vicious cycle and waste a whole lot of time.