Appropriate work clothes should be seen as an important factor in the day-to-day operation of a successful automotive business. However, when considering clothing, a flexible approach that allows you to consider the different climate changes that your workforce will face over the course of the year is often best.
For example, light, flexible attire may be ideal for the hot summer months, but it quickly becomes unsuitable once winter comes around. Additionally, every team within a car dealership will have its own requirements, so it’s important to consider the unique demands of each role before making a commitment on winter workwear.
It’s worth considering how something as seemingly simple and superficial as clothing could contribute towards performance. As we’re about to discover, providing your team with a uniform that makes them feel comfortable and protected during the cold season is directly connected to their sense of wellbeing — which forms the foundation on which productivity is built.
Let’s take a look, then, at the need for adequate thermal winter workwear and how making the right decisions on seasonal uniforms could have a surprising impact on your dealership’s performance.
Why is Winter Workwear Important?
Plummeting temperatures often make working conditions difficult for teams within car dealerships. Cold extremities, poor visibility, and illness all go hand in hand with impractical winter workwear. Therefore, stocking up on suitable thermal work clothes could have a big influence over your company’s long-term performance.
Cold teams quickly become unhappy teams. Therefore, when it gets chilly, it’s important for your staff to have access to a range of clothes that keep them warm while being flexible enough to allow a full range of movement. Additionally, from the perspective of potential customers, a happy, well-dressed workforce gives a really positive impression of a caring and professional outfit.
Furthermore, when discussing cold weather work clothes, there are practical considerations to take into account that are almost as important as team morale. The reality is that feeling cold during the working day can make staff lose focus on their work — which often leads to mistakes being made. The more errors, the higher the cost to your dealership. If you want to cover all bases, from practicality to wellbeing, premium winter workwear is what you need to minimise mistakes, curb seasonal illness and foster a sense of togetherness.
When your staff is safe, healthy and happy, your customers are sure to notice.
The Hazards of Winter Working
Slippery surfaces are perhaps the most obvious hazard of cold winter weather. However, the biggest threat to productivity during icy months is cold stress. In winter, inadequate workwear can leave the skin so cool that body temperature drops. When this happens, people are much more likely to suffer from muscle injuries and get ill. In extreme cases, it can even lead to hypothermia. Cold stress can be doubly damaging for teams who perform labour intensive jobs, as they can be affected even when their role leaves them feeling hot, leaving them oblivious to the early warning signs.
The best way to combat cold stress is by using sensible layers of thermal workwear. Practical work clothes will reduce the chances of your teams being exposed to cold stress, which could in turn reduce the chances of muscular strains, coughs and colds. In addition to reducing the likelihood of absenteeism your teams are less likely to rush — and make mistakes — when properly dressed. This is especially important for anyone who operates machinery.
Ultimately, while wintertime does present significant challenges to productivity, the right uniform options can make a huge difference to the welfare of both your staff and your dealership.
How Winter Workwear Requirements Change Between Teams
Because each of your teams work in a different environment, it’s important to consider their individual needs before purchasing workwear. What makes the sales team comfortable probably won’t help commercial workers. Let’s take a closer look at how best to keep everyone comfortable and productive in cold weather:
As the face of your business, sales professionals need to be tidy, warm, and comfortable. If they’re situated close to an automatic door, they’ll need options to combat the changes in temperature. Therefore, a polo shirt makes a good base layer, with a V-neck ideal for warming up and maintaining a professional appearance. Access to a soft shell or winter jacket is a necessity for those frequent trips to the frosty forecourt. Ultimately, versatility is key to get the most out of your sales team.
Movement is key for members of your service team. The role generally involves lots of stretching and bending, so clothing can’t be too restrictive. This means avoiding padding in the shoulders or arms. A gilet is a great option, as it keeps the service team’s arms free and their core warm. Layers might be needed as it can often get cold quickly between jobs. In this respect, polo shirts and round neck jumpers are reliable choices. Vitally, it’s important to consider worker safety, so you should always look for uniforms that are snag-free.
As with the sales department, your parts team often finds itself in close proximity to automatic doors, so require options to keep their whole body warm when the temperature drops. Sweaters, fleeces, and soft shells are, therefore, excellent choices. As with your mechanics, the parts role involves lots of lifting and stretching, making clothes that offer movement and flexibility essential.
Warmth and safety are paramount for long days spent on the roads. Your commercial team will need thermal outdoor workwear, meaning heavy duty coats alongside thick hi-vis jackets are a must for staying dry, warm, and visible at all times.
The Benefits of Suitable Winter Workwear
When it comes to your workforce, the more you invest, the more you’ll get back in return. As with any relationship, if you prioritise your teams’ wellbeing, treat them with care, and keep them happy, they’ll repay you in effort and loyalty. Showing them that they’re valued starts by ensuring that they feel comfortable and content during a typical working day. This is especially important during winter.
Kitting your teams out in thermal workwear that both looks and feels exemplary is an excellent way to grow and maintain morale. Not only will your teams thank you for giving them the right conditions in which to flourish, but you might also see a reduction in sick days and an increase in productivity.
Far from being an optional extra, adequate winter workwear should be seen as a must for any thriving enterprise.
Leighmans — The Winter Workwear Specialists
Leighmans have used our years of industry experience to provide a bespoke range of winter workwear options that offer comfort, quality, and style. Our customised offerings include polo shirts, V-necks, soft shell and hi vis jackets, gilets, trousers, and much more. In just two 15 minute phone calls we’ll help you design a stunning selection of premium thermal workwear options that offer the perfect balance of style and practicality.
Additionally, our unique Workwear Wizard removes some of the common challenges you can get when ordering, and gives your team the opportunity to select their own sizes and styles, at their convenience. We also offer embroidered swatches, quick quotes and online dashboards — to keep you fully up to speed with your order at all times.
If you’re looking for quality workwear and unrivalled customer service at reasonable prices, you’re in safe hands with Leighmans. Contact us today.