Dress for success
When it comes to internal communications, is Yammer the new yellow, and Twitter the new tweed?
“They said ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have’. So now I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.”
We all know how expressing yourself through your clothing can communicate a huge amount about you to the people you meet and work with. Your clothes can communicate your mood, ambition, seniority, confidence, expertise and preparation – before you’ve even said a word. With only seconds to make a good impression, it’s no wonder that deciding what to wear for work can cause stress.
A quick look online will tell you that you’ll need a formal outfit to work in law or finance, a stylish outfit to work in the creative industries, and (although more a dictat than an expression of style) the right personal protective equipment to work in construction or industry.
Know your audience: Sage’s clothing advice for entrepreneurs is a handy guide to matching how you look to the people around you
Diverse and globalised
Dressing appropriately helps you build rapport quickly. From what you’re wearing, others can identify you as ‘one of them’ and become more receptive to you as an individual. But as workforces become more diverse and globalised – and increasingly powered by digital communications – will the way you dress make such a difference in the future?
Some tech companies are already introducing ‘blind interviews’ where candidates are talked to behind a screen to prevent the panel forming any prejudices against them based on their appearance. This is in direct response to criticism about a lack of diversity in their teams, particularly at middle and senior manager level.
And increasingly, global success stories are coming from young start-ups whose big idea and entrepreneurial spirit has contributed more than their investment in a pinstripe three-piece and co-ordinated tie and cufflinks.
As our online personas become ever more important, the way we express ourselves through digital channels is likely to make more of a difference than the way we look. Our CV and skill-set will be as easy to share as a selfie.
By challenging the way things are done and elevating the importance of skill and potential, internal communications and HR teams can foster a new generation of employees who can make increasingly important contributions to their business… no matter what they’re wearing.
Fancy a peek into our wardrobe full of fresh thinking… get in touch!