How to Handle the Fashion Offender in the Workplace
"Ask them, 'Can I give you feedback about ways I think you can move up faster?'" she says. "Incorporate attire, but add something else, too. 'Sue, you have a great smile and I encourage you to use that in your interactions so people see your friendlier side. And what we wear influences the perceptions that people have about us. Have you considered altering your work attire slightly to send the message that you want to move up?'"
No matter how you approach the initial conversation, John Greene, president of CSB Training and chief operating officer of Collaborative Consulting, says that it's best to deal with the situation swiftly.
"Make sure you tell them what the consequences are if they don't do what you're asking," Greene says. "Stick to it. If you tell them they will be fired if they don't clean up their act, and then they don't clean up their act -- fire them. This may sound harsh, but you will lose credibility if you back down and let them get their way."
Greene says it's best to err on the side of caution when managers are addressing employees of a different sex."It's better to have women confront women or men confront men on issues of skimpy or revealing clothing, not just because they relate better on dress but also from an HR perspective -- it helps keep the company out of potential legal hot water," Greene says.
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