Ah summer, warm weather and a more relaxed attitude equal fun times- but not for the HR department…between more casual dress codes and summer events HR managers have their hands full during the summer months.
Setting and monitoring dress codes is one of those tasks that HR ends up with but wish they didn’t. I still laugh and cringe simultaneously when I remember the general manager I once worked for who decided allowing shorts during the summer on Friday was a great idea, but “not too short”. Despite my pleading that HR had better things to do then be the “shorts police”, I ended up crafting a policy regarding the exact length of inseam shorts should have (9 inches for the record). The rest of the summer was spent constantly counseling employees on what was and was not appropriate. The experience left me with a real bent toward uniforms for everyone and a strong recommendation to clients that a special dress codes for summer is never a good idea. For a bit of real HR fun I give you this joke, its been around forever but when I saw it recently on the Employee Benefit News website it made me laugh and think about all the interesting roles we have in HR and how the best of intentions to improve the workplace for employees can go awry.
Week 1 – Memo No. 1
Effective this week, the company is adopting Fridays as Casual Day. Employees are free to dress in the casual attire of their choice.
Week 3 – Memo No. 2
Spandex and leather micro-miniskirts are not appropriate attire for Casual Day. Neither are string ties, rodeo belt buckles or moccasins.
Week 6 – Memo No. 3
Casual Day refers to dress only, not attitude. When planning Friday’s wardrobe, remember image is a key to our success.
Week 8 – Memo No. 4
A seminar on how to dress for Casual Day will be held at 4 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria. A fashion show will follow. Attendance is mandatory.
Week 9 – Memo No. 5
As an outgrowth of Friday’s seminar, a 14-member Casual Day Task Force has been appointed to prepare guidelines for proper casual-day dress.
Week 14 – Memo No. 6
The Casual Day Task Force has now completed a 30-page manual entitled “Relaxing Dress Without Relaxing Company Standards.” A copy has been distributed to every employee. Please review the chapter “You Are What You Wear” and consult the “home casual” versus “business casual” checklist before leaving for work each Friday. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of an item of clothing, contact your CDTF representative before 7 a.m. on Friday.
Week 18 – Memo No. 7
Our EAP has now been expanded to provide support for psychological counseling for employees who may be having difficulty adjusting to Casual Day.
Week 20 – Memo No. 8
Due to budget cuts in the HR Department we are no longer able to effectively support or manage Casual Day. Casual Day will be discontinued, effective immediately.
Join the conversation: Do you allow a more casual dress code during the summer months?