Get smart: ensure your team is dressed for success

Get smart: ensure your team is dressed for success

“Dress for success. Image is very important. People judge you by the way you look on the outside.” – Brian Tracy

The appearance of your team plays a crucial role in creating a professional image and consistent branding. That’s why many salons have a dress code or require their team to wear a specific uniform.

But what happens if a member of your team turns up for work wearing inappropriate clothing or looking generally scruffy?

Have a clear salon policy

Firstly, always be prepared to deal with a situation like this by having a clear dress code policy in place as part of each employee’s contract of employment.

This policy should set out:

  • What your employees can wear.
  • What they can’t wear.
  • What they should wear (for example, if you have a salon uniform or a particular colour scheme).
  • Any exceptions, for example, for disabled or pregnant staff.
  • If the rules will be relaxed during extreme weather conditions, for example, heatwaves.

It can also cover rules about:

  • Tattoos and piercings (bear in mind the current widespread popularity and acceptance of tattoos and piercings)
  • Jewellery
  • Hair and makeup

Your policy should state that employees’ hair and makeup must be ‘salon-ready’ at the start of their shift. This prevents the common problem of staff finishing their hair and makeup routine in salon time.

Top tip: Your dress code policy needs to be reasonable. For example, ask yourself if you can give a good reason for each of the rules you wish to impose. It must also be fair and treat everyone in the same way.

Don’t have a salon dress code policy?

You can create a dress code policy but remember that this would be considered a change in the terms and conditions of employment. Head over to our blog post for further information and advice about this.

Members: Free employment contracts, policy documents, fact sheets, videos and blog posts are instantly available when you need them. Just get in touch with one of our friendly team.

Top tip: If possible, involve your team in creating your dress code policy. This will make it far more likely that they will comply.

When employees break the dress code rules

It can be tricky to deal with employees who suddenly start breaking the dress code rules, but it’s important to deal with it quickly. Speak to them privately and informally, and if necessary, ask them to return home to change.

This will send a clear message to them and everyone else in the team. Don’t let the situation drift on from day to day hoping it will solve itself as it will just get increasingly difficult to deal with.

Top tip: Don’t read the riot act to a team member who suddenly starts breaking the dress code. Their appearance may be a sign that they are experiencing mental health issues or dealing with personal problems. Have a private chat with them and ensure they know you’re keen to help and support them.

What if the problem persists?

If your salon employee continues to flout the dress code policy, you’ll need to hold a more formal meeting to remind them of the rules.

If this still doesn’t work, you may have to consider disciplinary proceedings. However, you must consider the following:

  • Is your dress code policy reasonable and can you justify all its requirements?
  • Is there a medical reason why your employee cannot comply with the rules?
  • Does your employee need to comply with religious or cultural requirements? If so, you may risk breaking equality laws.
  • Are there health, safety or hygiene requirements that may override religious and cultural requirements?
  • Is the outcome of the disciplinary hearing reasonable? For example, it’s unlikely that sacking someone straightaway would be considered reasonable.

Top tip: IMPORTANT: If you have chair, space or room renters in your salon they are running their own separate business so you cannot enforce dress codes on them or make rules about their appearance.

Members: Get your recruitment adverts seen. Post team vacancies for free on our Good Salon Guide website job board