Dr. Jason’s I Speak Life™ Newsletter – Volume 8 Issue 8
Inside This Issue
• Addressing the Issue of Workplace Dress Code
• Message from the President
• Consulting Focus: Internship Programs
• Industry Perspectives
Addressing the Issue of Workplace Dress Code
What does your organization’s dress code say about your business? Do you even have a dress code?
Depending on the type of business or organization, dress code can be very important for success. It can make the difference in how your clients and stakeholders view your ability to perform your stated goals. If there is direct employee contact with customers or clients, first impressions can be crucial, as employees are the face of the company. The appearance of team members can be an extension of the brand—good or bad. If there is no formal dress code, it may be wise to draft a formal written policy to prevent any unexpected problems in the future. The expectations should be clear up front.
There is a belief that certain types of businesses should always maintain a professional dress code. Others feel strict clothing requirements restrict productivity and create a stuffy atmosphere for employees. The average age of the workforce also plays a role in how employees dress. Younger, especially millennial, employees tend to prefer more casual attire for work, whereas older workers lean toward a more business formal approach.
Opponents of a relaxed dress code argue that workers’ behavior tends to reflect how they are dressed. The argument is that if you are dressed as if you are going to a picnic, you will act accordingly. This is not always true, however. Many progressive, professional companies essentially have “casual Friday” every day of the week. Supporters of this concept believe it helps make team members more relaxed and facilitates increased creativity. Among other things, a relaxed dress code can be helpful in recruiting younger employees to join the team.
Whatever the policy of the organization, representatives should take pride in their personal appearance. Attire should be neat, clean and the best possible reflection of both the individual and the business.
Message from the President
“If we are not careful and intentional with our time, we can let it slip away…”
Summer activities are in full swing. People are enjoying picnics, barbecues, amusement parks and water activities. There is everything from baseball games to pool parties to golf outings. I have many fond memories of my summers growing up as a kid. It seems the older I get, the faster the summers seem to go by. Pretty soon these activities will die down, and students and teachers will return to their classrooms for the start of another school year. The sounds of summer will be simply a memory until next year.
In my area of the country, we know all too well that the warm temperatures and sunshine do not last forever. We must take advantage of them while they are with us. If we are not careful and intentional with our time, we can let it slip away like those lazy summer days. It is imperative for each of us to make the most of the twenty-four hours we are given every day.
What are you doing this summer to make it the best one you’ve every experienced?
Consulting Focus: Internship Programs
Internships are a way for perspective employees, usually college students, to gain valuable work experience in an industry before actually beginning their career. Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the student and the organization. Most often, internships are unpaid, although they can be paid positions.
One of the benefits for the organization is that it gets the benefit of the skills of the intern without the expense of payroll for that individual. At the same time, the intern gains valuable experience with the organization. Employers increasingly use internships as a tool to hire graduates. If the business chooses to hire the intern at a later date, the employee training time is greatly reduced or even eliminated. The intern’s work ethic, skills and fit within the team are already known to the organization. There is little guesswork. A traditional hire can make a good impression during the interview process, but turn out to be a bad addition to the team.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), over 35% of employers’ fulltime, entry-level college hires came from their internship programs. An internship program helps the business find future employees, as it is a year-round recruiting tool. This also keeps fresh talent and perspectives flowing into the organization. NACE also found that the employee retention rate is higher for those hired via internship programs.
An internship program is an advertisement of your organization to college students. It can be used to attract the brightest university talent to take your business into the future. Done properly, it can be a mutually beneficial relationship for both the intern and the business.
Organizational transitions can often be handled more smoothly when an external consultant is brought in, especially when time is an important consideration. By nature, transitions can be difficult due to the fact that people are generally resistant to change. If one of the goals is to have the change occur as quickly as possible, the consultant can be an invaluable resource. Engaging a consultant allows the organization to affect the change more quickly than if internal resources alone are utilized. The consultant can bring specialized tools to the table that allow them to hit the ground running. He or she can employ models and templates that have been proven in similar business situations, without having to build from the ground floor. Having experience can usually shave many hours, days or even months from the transition timetable. There is no substitute for the practical, hands-on knowledge consulting affords the team during periods of adjustment. A good consultant can help turn the challenges of an organizational transition into opportunities.