Promotion Makeover: How Uniforms Can Motivate Employees to Succeed

[caption id="attachment_817" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Value of Thanking Empoyees Image source: Recognizethisblog.com[/caption]   Were you ever in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts? They use a very simple but effective system to motivate kids. Do a good deed and you get a merit badge for your uniform. Military organizations use a similar system -- others can look at your badges and determine where you served and what awards you've received. Outside of these two groups you don't see a lot of badges. Still, that doesn't change the fact that clothes are an important status symbol and can be used as a powerful employee incentive tool.   How do the people in your business dress? Do the workers dress differently than the managers? And do the managers dress differently than the CEOs? Odds are good that the answer to both of those questions is "yes." We use clothes as a simple, effective way to visually represent the pecking order.   Part of the reason why we use uniforms is because they're effective. Using some sort of visual marker is the easiest way to distinguish a worker from a CEO. To a lesser degree, though, we also use clothing as a reward. Managers don't have to wear a dress shirt and a tie when they get promoted, they get to wear a dress shirt and tie.   Think of it in the same terms as a college diploma. If I were to tell you that I graduated from college, then you'd probably accept my word for it. You wouldn't need me to show you a diploma as proof... but that wouldn't stop a college graduate from framing his diploma and hanging it in his office. We take pride in our accomplishments, and we delight in the opportunity show off to others. The same goes for uniforms. If someone gets promoted to a managerial position, then odds are fairly good that he or she will take pride in the fact that a new uniform accompanies the promotion. It gives that employee the opportunity to show off his accomplishment to the world. [caption id="attachment_933" align="alignnone" width="650"]Dress for Success Image source: Blog.accountingprincipals.com[/caption] It's a bit silly to think that we're such a shallow species. "I accomplished something. Look at me! Look at me!" But it's true. Nothing motivates people quite as much as respect from their peers.   Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying that employees will want to get promoted just so that they can wear a new uniform (they're probably more motivated by the pay bump than anything else), but a uniform that sets them apart from other workers can help to motivate your employees.   So, you may want to consider different types of uniforms for the various tiers of your company ladder. Not only will distinct uniforms give your workers an easy to way to determine rank, but it might also give your employees the extra little push they need to work harder for that coveted promotion.

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