Back in the day, automotive workwear wasn’t something that was given much consideration. In fact, it would be fair to say that workwear was barely even an after-thought for most car dealerships. Mechanics wore overalls and sales people wore shirts and ties and that was that. In effect, there was a general attitude of ‘Well it’s always been done this way, so what’s the point in changing?’
After all, we were only talking about clothes and there were a million other, more pressing, things to consider when trying to run a successful car dealership. What difference would changing attitudes towards workwear make that could justify the time spent thinking it over? Did it really need to be treated with the same reverence as, say, retaining clients? However, as times have changed, so has our understanding. The more we learn about the psychology underpinning our work clothes, the more we might come to appreciate its importance.
As we’re about to find out, choosing the right automotive workwear could actually have a huge impact on the success of your business — an impact that is felt across every team, at every level. The days of one-size-fits-all solutions are quickly becoming a thing of the past. So, let’s have a look at how innovative technological solutions for helping your team choose the right clothing could lead to amazing results.
Helping You Value Your Company’s Most Important Assets
There’s no more important asset in your business than your workforce. Treat them poorly and they’ll grind through the working day feeling resentful, with all that pent up negativity manifesting itself in a lack of care and sub-standard quality of work. And when their work isn’t up to scratch, you can rest assured that it won’t take long for your customers to notice.
However, if you treat them with respect and consideration, they’ll reward you with great work and become true brand ambassadors. One of the biggest ways you can show that you’ve got their best interests at heart is to provide them with automotive workwear that feels comfortable and is designed with their working day in mind. The right clothing can set the tone for everything that follows, so is a key step that should be overlooked at your peril.
How to Improve Staff Morale Through Uniform
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of morale in the average workplace. In fact, recent figures show that teams with better employee engagement are more profitable, have less absenteeism and make fewer mistakes than businesses with low engagement. There are lots of factors that help create good workplace morale, and the clothes we wear are an important one. Considering the unique demands of individual teams is a good way to understand what clothes are most suitable for them.
Let’s start by thinking about this from the point of view of a mechanic. Most mechanics work in a really hot, sweaty environment and don’t stop moving around all day. Now, if you want them to bring their best selves to work each morning, would you kit them out in a restrictive winter coat, or lightweight polo shirt, made of breathable fabric? Clearly, it’s the latter, as it stands to reason that providing the right workwear is the best way to make them feel comfortable and happy. And happy, productive employees help to make businesses become successful.
Now, let’s walk a mile in the shoes of someone from the sales team. The salespeople are often in and out of the showroom, so they need to quickly transition from the warmth of the indoors to the cold and wet of the outdoors. Would a simple cotton polo shirt alone work for the sales guys too?
Probably not. In their case, it would be ideal if they had a waterproof jacket or soft shell for speaking to customers outside. And let’s take things further by imagining that our salesperson loves showing clients around the forecourt when it rains, as the cars look fantastic in the wet. It would, then, make sense for them to have access to a good-sized branded umbrella that keeps both them and the customer dry and happy. After all, like workers, customers need to feel valued, and they’re much more likely to stick around if they’re not getting drenched.
When it comes to improving staff morale through uniform, the truth is that all departments want to feel equally important and valued. Whether they work in sales, service, parts or commercial, their role will require a unique perspective on what constitutes suitable workwear. If you get it right, you can eliminate potentially damaging ‘Us Vs Them’ debates between departments, and make everyone so content that their positivity shines through in everything they do.
More Benefits of Putting Workwear First
As we’ve already discovered, times change and businesses need to adapt. For instance, the traditional salesperson’s attire of suit, shirt and tie doesn’t really connect with younger demographics. In fact, it might even create an atmosphere of formality that brings to mind anecdotes about being ‘sold-to’ for hours in a stuffy room. While times might have already moved on in the car industry, that progress becomes much more visual when it’s reflected in a more modern dress code.
Dealerships that have traded the outdated white collar for simple polo shirts are known to have had more relaxed, friendly conversations with potential clients. The change of workwear has actually changed the whole tone of the business. This evolution has led to more sales among younger age groups and has helped dealerships establish themselves as brands independent of manufacturers.
This is just one example of how taking the time to think about your audience might better inform the choices you make. It’s important to think outside of the box and not just accept the conventional approach for the sake of it. If you find workwear that works for both your employees and your clients, you’ll be all-set to make great strides.
Better-Fitting Workwear Thanks to Uniform Technology
We’ve established then that choosing the right automotive workwear for each role is an important factor for businesses. However, this is just the start of the challenge. What you also need is a way to sensitively handle sizing and ordering that removes the need for awkward conversations, saves time, and takes less effort than asking each employee by email or in person.
The truth is that talking about something as personal as body shape and measurements can be a really delicate subject. It begs the question, should someone be expected to open up about a medical condition that has led to weight gain just because they need to be sized up for new work clothes? Similarly, for people who identify as non-binary, surely having the freedom to choose workwear without feeling like they need to explain or justify their choices should be an option?
In much the same way as no two departments require the exact same type of workwear, it’s rare for two people to feel the same way about something as personal as clothing. Lots of people feel sensitive about the clothes they wear and can be made to feel awkward if they’re forced to talk about their bodies. And nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable over something that could be simple and discreet. In short, everyone deserves the privacy to choose whatever makes them feel their most confident and secure.
Meanwhile — from a logistical point of view — sizing and ordering is much less complicated when done via an app. Traditionally, this is a job that might be handled by a PA, back-office staff, or receptionist, who would need to deal with every individual clothing request and collate the results before placing an order. It’s a stressful job, made even more difficult when dealerships have multiple sites, or when employees make last ditch requests for urgently needed clothing.
All in all, it’s laborious and time-consuming work that can be completely revolutionised with a neat and tidy app that invites users to place their own orders via a simple link. An app is the perfect solution to save time, money and, most importantly, provide employees with much-valued privacy and discretion.
In the modern workplace, it’s essential to embrace technology and minimise awkward conversations wherever possible. The right innovations give employees the freedom to choose a size and style of attire that works for them. Therefore, what you need is an app that provides your workforce with the freedom to make their own clothing choices, in their own time, and on their own terms.
How Leighmans Helps Companies Find the Right Automotive Workwear
Times change. Once upon a time, the words ‘work uniform’ generally suggested an uncomfortable and inflexible outfit that was worn by one-and-all, without exception. Very little attention was paid to how the clothes actually made employees feel.
Thanks to a forward-thinking mindset and advances in technology, Leighmans.com offers workwear that considers the needs of a diverse workspace and makes both sizing and ordering easier for everyone.
As one of the most trusted names in the automotive world, we’ve poured all of our experience and expertise into our aptly-named ‘Workwear Wizard’. This industry-leading app is at the cutting edge of workwear innovation. Not only does it simplify the ordering of clothing, it also provides employees with the ideal platform to choose the right items for them. Additionally, if you’re in the Top 100 dealership groups, you can use this fantastic app free of charge!
If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of a caring and customised approach to workwear, you’re ready to work with Leighmans. Contact us today.