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The zero fuss way to implement a uniform

By Shandel McAuliffe | |7 minute read
The zero fuss way to implement a uniform

Launching a new uniform range can induce significant apprehension within an organisation. It’s for good reason; a new uniform dictates what your employees will be wearing for most of their waking hours for the foreseeable future. HR generally takes the lead on this potentially daunting process, and they have plenty of incentive to ensure an efficient, effective launch and gain staff approval - they’ll be receiving the complaint emails if they don’t!


We hear horror stories from clients who have tried to launch a new uniform in the past, telling us about lengthy, complicated processes, and the difficulty of trying to please everybody. In fact, so many key figures in a business hear the word “uniform” and run for the hills, not wanting to be involved in the perceived stress of these projects. And yes, whilst introducing a new company uniform can be tricky, if done correctly, it can be an efficient and effective way to get all major stakeholders engaged and on the same page with the company future and brand messaging.

As an HR manager, your interest in a new uniform range could be because of an impending brand refresh, or because your current range has been identified as out-dated and not a true reflection of current company values. It could also be due to poor staff feedback on the comfort, suitability and diversity of your current styles and fabrics.

Whatever the reason may be, the new uniform range selected needs to promote strong team culture and positively reflect the company brand. A great uniform should reflect the changing market, exude confidence, and inspire employees. Like any element of brand and marketing, a uniform design and implementation needs to be well thought out and planned.

I have identified four key areas to consider when preparing for a new uniform launch to ensure a smooth process.

Key tips to ensure an efficient and effective new uniform launch:

  1. Need identification: Have a thorough understanding of the who, why, when and where. Understand your company requirements, who is wearing the uniform, why they’re wearing it, when it is required and what budget you’re working with. The clearer the brief, the more fit for purpose the product and service. Ensure your team not only stand out but are happy with the new designs.
  2. Colour, fabric and fit: Talk to the experts. Ask for suggestions on the latest fabrics and fits for your industry. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel – uniforms need to be fit for purpose and practical, and if it works for others it will work for your team. We put a lot of emphasis on colour when designing a uniform to ensure the range makes all body types and skin tones look their best, whilst still being consistent with branding and standing out in the environment they are worn in. As with interior design, the colour scheme can make or break the overall design of a uniform, taking a range from great to terrible very quickly.
  3. Range planning: If you spend time creating a look you must consider all factors. Will staff need a winterwear option? What trousers are they expected to wear? Is there a requirement for a cap or beanie? There is no point creating a fabulous on brand shirt or polo only to have it covered up by an employee’s personal jumper which is off brand and does not communicate your brand story.
  4. The devil is in the detail: Ensure there is a company uniform policy outlining dress standards. Should the shirt be worn tucked in or out? What type and colour shoes are acceptable? What is the jewellery policy? When taking the time to create your team image through uniform it is important to provide clear details on how it should or shouldn’t be worn.

A uniform can speak a thousand words. When worn correctly by each employee, the message to the public is very powerful. If done well, a uniform will ensure that your team looks, feels, and acts the part, and gives clients reason to feel confident, comfortable, and proud to be associated with your brand.

What does your uniform look like right now?

Pamela Jabbour is the founder and CEO of Total Image Group



Branding, in terms of human resources, is using marketing to distinguish a company or the products/services it offers by rapidly becoming known to consumers This may be accomplished by using certain noises, colours, features, or logos.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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