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Positive impact of uniform at work place
09
Sep '10
Among the most mimicked lines from comedian Billy Crystal's days on "Saturday Night Live" during the 1980s was, "It's better to look good than to feel good." The line lives on today because of its underlying truth -- how you dress can have a positive impact on your professional and business success.

Take airport screeners. After being constantly belittled by travelers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) changed their uniforms two years ago from white shirts with sewn on emblem badges to royal-blue ones with pinned-on silver-colored, copper and zinc badges. The TSA said selection of the new uniforms was guided by the basic principle that it believed the new uniforms would promote esprit de corps within its workforce while instilling trust and confidence in the public. And they did.

In a similar scenario just this year, nurses at the JFK Medical Center in Palm Beach County, Florida exchanged their royal blue scrubs for retro nurses' whites after being routinely ignored by patients. With the change in uniforms, the nurses gained an instant appreciation for their professional abilities. "If patients are on the phone when we walk in their room they (now) quickly say: 'I gotta go, my nurse is here.' They really pay attention," says Nurse Cheryl Farrell, Manager of the Cardiovascular Step-down Unit.

The image-enhancing attributes of uniforms come as no surprise to Adam Soreff, Director of Communications for UniFirst, a leading uniform and work apparel supplier to companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. "When work uniforms are appropriately selected and personalized, they naturally project an image of professionalism and generate respect. It's a phenomenon that can be traced to the first century when Roman centurions would send their enemies running simply at the sight of their intimidating bronzed helmets and armored breastplates."

Perception and image is also important on the "battlefield of business," Soreff says. "If your employees are dressed in identifiable uniforms, customers view them as professional and reliable, which can lead to higher levels of employee self-esteem, job satisfaction, and productivity levels." And possessing such business attributes in today's competitive markets is certainly no laughing matter.

UniFirst Corporation

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