Whether it’s fair or not, appearances do matter. The appearance of your staff is a direct reflection on your studio. In your clients’ eyes, a staff that looks professional will be perceived as providing more professional services.
Your first consideration when choosing guidelines for staff attire should be your clients’ expectations. If your studio trends upscale, you may want to consider providing your staff with high-quality uniforms. If the vibe is funky and fun, you may want the staff to express their own style, within certain broad guidelines, such as modesty and cleanliness.
Instructors and support staff should dress in a manner that allows them to perform their jobs while increasing the comfort level of class participants. Their clothing should not be intimidating or revealing in anyway. Advise your staffers that, when in doubt about the appropriateness of their clothing, it’s best to err on the side of being conservative.
Many studios sell apparel as part of their studio’s retail component. If this is the case in your studio, give your staff a steep discount, or even an allowance, to encourage them to wear the apparel you are selling to your clients. It’s great marketing for your retail and it’s a staff perk.
Instructors should serve as a role model to clients. They should dress they way you would encourage your clients to show up for a sweat session. Wearing jewelry to a work out can be a hazard, so instructors should keep their sparkly stuff to a minimum. Makeup and sweat can make for a slippery and uncomfortable combination, so, staffers should keep it light.
To distinguish employees and instructors, you can require them to wear a specific color. Basic black is easy for your staff to adhere to because of all of the black apparel options available. It also looks timeless and classic. Or, choose a color similar to those found inside and outside your business or in your logo.
Don’t forget about the feet! Instructors should not come to teach a spin class in the same scuffed up and dusty cycling shoes they wore for a triathlon over the weekend. Again, your staff member’s footwear should be appropriate for the activity, and not just a pair of cross trainers.
A Uniform Look
One way to ensure your staff is dressed to you standards of professionalism is to provide uniforms. Uniforms will help you to create a staff identity and will increase the approachability of your staff. Clients can immediately identify instructors and employees when they are looking for assistance or have questions.
Another option is to give your instructors a different, but complementary uniform, to the support staff. For example, if your reception and support staff wear white t-shirts with polo collars, consider tanks or fitted v-neck tees for the instructors.
If you do opt for a uniform, do not purchase unisex t-shirts in bulk. Provide each staff member with clothing that fits his or her body type well and is comfortable for the instructor to teach in. You should also keep in mind that you will want to give each staff member more than one shirt or tank. You can’t expect instructors to go home and wash their uniform every night.
When designing a uniform, incorporate your studio’s logo in a tasteful way. Offer a range of T-shirts, tanks and sweatshirts, You may want to have some custom apparel printed to sell to clients or include in a new client welcome kit.
Enforcing The Dress Code
After you have determined the guidelines for acceptable staff attire, put them in writing in your studio’s employee handbook. Also, as an employer, you are required to make adjustments to your dress code to accommodate employees religious practices. It is also important that your policies do not contain any gender bias or discrimination.
Review your attire policy with new hires and make it a recurring topic at staff meetings. By proactively discussing what you consider to be professional attire, your staff will have a clear understanding of your expectations and be more likely to adhere to your studio’s standards