« Cafe Classic: Beware The Manager Bearing Gifts | Main | Cafe Classic: What the Oreo Cookie Can Teach Us about Employee Recognition & Rewards »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This was good, and if nothing else helped reassure me that not every posting has to have a clear and direct linkage back to pay and compensation (apparently that's been keeping me awake at night, given the sometimes "eclectic" topics I occasionally propose for publication).

The cited faux pas of overlooking the need to wear socks couldn't hold a candle to the need for a very obvious intervention with someone who was recently spotted in bare feet - in the restroom. Their mother would not have been proud of them.

Despite these occasional "outliers" (even in our line of business), we've actually embraced a variation of the dress code policy mantra established by GM's CEO, Mary Barra, who simply stated that employees should "dress appropriately". Sounds right to me.

Whenever a (savvy) job applicant inquires about appropriate dress for an interview, I tell them we observe "business casual" (though I'm now understanding that to be a very nebulous descriptor), but that a good rule of thumb is to bump your dress up one "notch" from whatever the standard office culture entails (e.g. business casual means wearing a tie and/or sport coat wouldn't hurt).

The exception is for leadership positions, where I do think you should dress "for the board room", though I don't feel obligated to tell leadership candidates who wouldn't divine this on their own.

Ran an experiment with a sales training class; showed them the group graduation picture of the last class (all strangers to them). When instructed to match the numbered people with gross personality characteristics, their choices (lazy, smart, jokester, honest, liar, etc.) based on mostly clothing alone were almost identical.

Lesson learned: you only get one chance to make a positive first impression. Miss it and you may never be able to correct it. Clothing communicates!

The comments to this entry are closed.