Why Society Values Uniforms: More Respect for Employees, More Productivity for Employers

Mar 06, 2007, 00:00 ET from UniFirst Corporation

    WILMINGTON, Mass., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- If clothes make the man or
 woman, then you could say a work uniform makes the employee.
     But the power of uniforms can also be reflected in the bottom line.
 Studies have shown they can create a team-like environment in the workplace
 and, in turn, provide a business advantage to employers, says Robert
 Isaacson, Director of Marketing for UniFirst, a leading supplier of
 uniforms and services to business, www.unifirst.com.
     "Employees who feel positive about the identity their uniforms confer
 on them and display to the public often develop a stronger sense of company
 loyalty and become more productive," Isaacson says.
     Interestingly, the type of uniform worn does not matter, according to
 Paul Fussell, a former professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who
 authored "Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear."
     Fussell notes uniforms command respect because they communicate that
 those who wear them hold prominent jobs that are likely permanent. Isaacson
     "Although the respect a uniform creates can be more readily observed
 when the occupation in question is that of a police officer or firefighter,
 it is nonetheless present to some degree in the uniforms that all workers
 wear," he says.
     "The professor's findings also help to explain why most businesses
 personalize their uniforms with company logos, employee names, and more --
 doing so helps to elevate the uniformed stature of their employees to an
 even greater degree."
     Isaacson notes this is especially important for companies that operate
 in competitive environments or are in industries that experience high
 turnover rates.

SOURCE UniFirst Corporation