The Right Uniform Program Can Help Employees and Guests Feel and Be Safer
Your security program has been reviewed top-to-bottom and upgraded since September 11, 2001. Fire protection systems, electronic guest room locking, video surveillance, and strict procedures for everything from housekeeping and food handling to employee background checks are in place and working effectively.
A thorough uniform program review can be an effective and important next step to enhance the security of your guests and employees. Uniforms also can function on many levels to help them feel more secure, an important consideration in terms of repeat guest visits and retention of good employees.
The Uniform and Textile Service Association learned via a survey conducted for us by J.D. Power and Associates that 83 percent of individual consumers feel uniforms make it easier to identify who can help them. And, if you are concerned about whether the unfamiliar HVAC technician or the carpet cleaning crew that just arrived really do work for your vendors, you’re not alone. We learned that 87 percent of business owners and managers want to see personnel from vendors and suppliers clad in uniform to help confirm that these workers are who they say they are – and with good reason. Whether they are international terrorists or local thieves hoping to snatch purses or laptop computers, discouraging intruders in any way possible is critical.
The Uniform and Textile Service Association is an international trade organization representing textile supply and service companies. UTSA members provide, clean and maintain reusable textile products, such as uniforms, sheets, table linen, shop and print towels, floor mats, mops and other items to thousands of businesses in all industries. They also help customers use uniforms to address a wide variety of concerns, including security and ease-of-identification issues.
Strategies for making a uniform program a strong contributor to security include:
- Design uniforms for personnel in all positions that would be difficult for anyone to copy exactly. Use of company logos, colors, slogans and other design elements should be as precise and consistent as possible across all job functions. A uniform supply company can help you review and upgrade your uniform designs from a security standpoint. The supplier also can provide expert guidance on fabrics that may be ideal for workers in certain jobs, and on uniform design for each job to ensure functionality, durability, and professional appearance -- even after an employee has been at work for hours;
- Logos and other unique, identifiable business elements, such as slogans, should be incorporated into all possible employee wear items, including coveralls, gloves, headgear, and other ancillary products;
- Store uniforms collected for laundering in a secure location;
- Make certain that all department managers collect all uniforms distributed to employees who resign or who are terminated;
- Make certain that managers and staff members can easily identify uniforms of vendors who service your facility, and that they understand the need for caution if there is any question regarding a worker’s identity;
- Keep all employee uniforms in good repair. An employee’s less-than-neat uniform may cause guests to feel uncomfortable asking that employee for assistance or service, potentially impacting feelings of safety and security. A uniform and textile service provider will ensure that needed repairs are made to your workers’ uniforms, stains are completely removed, worn uniforms are replaced with new ones and larger or smaller-sized uniforms are delivered promptly if needed.
Visit www.uniforminfo.com to learn more or to locate a UTSA member near you.
Mary Anne Dolbeare is director of public affairs and marketing at the Uniform Textile and Service Association. She can be contacted at Dolbeare@utsa.com.