Appearance is very important piece of leadership that is seldom discussed. I think that’s because it is wrongly assumed that it’s something that you just do. Here’s an example for you. Let’s say I came in today to interview for a summer job. It’s GA, so I come in some shorts, crocs, a t-shirt and I haven’t shaved in three days. Even with my level of experience for a seasonal job, you probably aren’t going to hire me. You could try to coach me before the job about my appearance, but how confident are you that I will follow your lead?
The point being, it often doesn’t matter how much you know if your appearance isn’t professional. Think about your guests. You may have a business degree, but if you approach a customer to help them and you look like you just got hit by a wrinkle grenade, you’ve already lost a lot of credibility. Forget about trying to get through a gatekeeper to a client if you aren’t presented well.
This is one of the reasons why I’m such a stickler on dress code. I call out every wrong undershirt, no name tag and distracting jewelry piece that I find. The other reason is what it does to your team.
Dress code is usually the first place team members challenge their leadership. It may not start out as intentional but then it leads to being a little late sometimes for their shift and that eventually leads to not asking everyone for their phone number etc. This instance could have been dealt with very easy had we been observant and had to courage to hold the person accountable in the beginning.
How is your team doing on dress code and appearance? Is it something that your leadership keeps on their mind at all times? If you’ve got a great team, it is something you rarely need to address, but you are always aware of.
Make a better tomorrow.