The history of work uniforms is a tale nearly as old as time. Some historians even describe workers in the middle ages donning badges or insignias to indicate their role or employer. In field-based industries like utilities, a worker physically represents the business. A tidy uniform and professional demeanor have a huge impact on the customer experience. Here, we’ll discuss some of those benefits and ways to ensure that your utility technicians are dressed to impress.
Advantages to uniforms and professionalism in field service
As we mentioned, the technician is representing the company with every visit or public appearance. A technician’s clean and pressed uniform says a lot to a customer about the company’s standards and values. A tidy appearance sets an expectation of professionalism, which is an important attribute to earning repeat business. A professional appearance can contribute to customer confidence, making the customer feel better about inviting a technician into their home.
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Uniforms will help a company deliver on its brand or marketing promises. Caps and shirts adorned with logos and slogans are very effective ways to extend branding campaigns into your customers’ neighborhoods and homes. A technician wearing a company shirt is quite literally a walking, talking billboard for your brand.
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Initial ideas to ensure technicians follow uniform protocols
The first step a field service company must take toward technician compliance with a uniform policy is education and awareness. If your policy is new, make it a point to educate your technicians. Take the time to meet individually to discuss the importance of uniforms. Uniform policies help the company and each technician. When your techs are in uniform with a clean vehicle and equipment, they are more likely to be assumed as professional and capable. Which in turn will make it easier to work efficiently and confidently.
As a daily reminder, create posters that show examples of uniform DO and DON’Ts. For example, the DO’s side shows a pressed shirt, clean and pressed pants, and proper boots. The DON’Ts side shows the opposite: wrinkled, ripped, and/or dirty pants, and improper footwear. Hang these posters in the break room and similar communal areas to serve as a visual reminder of uniform expectations.
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Other ways to reinforce professional policies
Depending on the size of your company, you may elect to provide technicians with multiple shirts and pants. This is a nice perk for the technicians and ensures everyone has the ability to access clean uniforms at all times. Technicians are more likely to comply with the policy when they’re satisfied with their uniforms. They should have a say in the comfort and fit of the clothes.
In the event a technician fails to stick to the uniform policy, leadership should privately address the issue. Leadership should use the opportunity as a learning experience and a chance to reinforce the positive merits of uniform compliance.
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Lastly, give your technicians a chance to weigh in on the uniforms and policy. Technicians who work outside in harsh elements can provide very insightful feedback in terms of clothing requirements. Give technicians decision-making power to improve morale and satisfaction across the ranks. Provide some autonomy and involve your techs in uniform policy updates.
Utility Partners of America improves utility company operations
Utility Partners of America (UPA) has been working with water, gas, electric utilities, and energy cooperatives for more than 20 years, and we understand how a uniform policy can instill customer confidence. Providing top-notch services requires more than just wearing clean uniforms, and that’s where we can help.
To learn more about how UPA can partner with your utility on construction, maintenance, logistics, project management, and more, contact us today.