/08 August 2012
Uniforms are all but considered essential for even small businesses working in the healthcare sector. There’s even an argument that says non-client facing staff should wear them too. If you’re under the impression uniforms are an unnecessary expense, perhaps it’s worth further reflection. We would say that, but uniforms make business sense.
Healthcare providers are under an obligation to maintain certain standards. It’s long been accepted by large healthcare providers but what about small businesses? If you have staff meeting people in their homes then a uniform isn’t just a question of hygiene. As a rule of thumb people don’t like letting strangers into their home. It’s also well documented in the press that carers and other healthcare workers don’t have a one to one relationship with their clients. So when faces change on a regular basis it gives clients some reassurance when they see a familiar uniform as well as photographic ID.
And then there are the hygiene aspects as well. Whether or not you provide laundry services for your staff, uniforms promote minimum levels of hygiene. There’s also the question of comfort. With many healthcare workers working under warm conditions and having to stretch, lift and bend, an appropriate uniform makes staff feel more comfortable. Comfortable workers are more productive.
And what about promoting your company’s image? Uniforms are a cost effective form of promotion and create a professional impression. Many small businesses don’t spend much on branding so uniforms, branded to reflect the company’s existing company colours and logo can be extremely cost effective when seen in this light. Also reflect on the fact that a branded service is likely to be able to charge more .And consider this. As a form of advertising pound for pound wastage is low. Front-line staff work directly with clients and their close relatives. And what are the alternatives? Standardisation is easier to implement and manage than a ‘non uniform’ uniform.
By contrast a well-designed uniform tells the world you are a professional organisation. And your staff’s reaction may surprise you. You may not realise that workers can resent using their own clothes for work. Providing uniforms tells your staff they are special and they are more likely to take pride in their work.
And what about non client facing staff? In the healthcare sector that can feel out of the loop. By branding their workwear you increase their sense of involvement.
A program of introducing uniforms is more likely to be embraced by staff if your company meets all the costs of introduction. Before you baulk at the prospect let us add that we understand companies don’t like ‘unnecessary’ expense. Healthcare uniforms probably cost less than you think and the payback can be significant.