Okay, it's my job to give you a good laugh some days. Right? Here goes. Every year when the weather turns warm, I receive a few notes asking me about employee underwear - specifically, underwear that is showing under the skimpier clothing employees wear in the summer.
People honestly want to know what to do about it and whether there is a place to address visible employee underwear in the company dress code. And, if not there - where?
Update the Company Dress Code
Proactively, do put visible underwear in your work dress code. Here's what I say in my recommended business casual dress code: "Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, your chest, your feet, your stomach or your underwear is not appropriate for a place of business, even in a business casual setting."
But, the first part of the question is the most interesting. And, yes, you do need to talk to the employee, especially if the clothing is distracting to others in the workplace. I file this in my mind in a folder called "professionalism" and that is the approach I'd take in talking with the employee.
Hold the Difficult Conversation
Whatever else you do - do hold the conversation. Many of us avoid conflict and would prefer to postpone difficult discussions. The problem is that every time an employee dresses inappropriately, and you don't tell them, you "train" the employee that their appearance is okay.
The key point is that most employees really want to succeed at work. They don't get up each morning and think, "how can I screw up my work life today." So, if something is not right, or may stand in the way of their advancement, recognition, or pay increases, they generally appreciate that you cared enough to tell them.
Image Copyright Todd Taulman
More about Company Dress Codes
- Pictures of a Casual Company Dress Code
- Pictures of Business Formal Dress
- Business Casual Company Dress Code
- Company Dress Codes and Image Collection