Saturday, August 1, 2009

IN YOUR BUSINESS Solving Workplace Worries

She's Got The Look: It Just Happens To Be The Wrong One

I am a manager in a large, world-wide corporation. We have dress codes that are in place to promote an image of professionalism, both within our company and outside events. I have a rep who often dresses inappropriately for a daytime office environment. Her clothing is well-suited to her, but not the image for business: too sexy, to revealing in most cases. Since this is of such a personal nature, I would like to have some suggestions on how to address this. Thank you in advance.

L. R., Outreach Specialist
Detroit, Michigan

Dear L.R.:

First of all, I disagree that it is of a personal nature. Unless it is just bothersome to you at some personal level, then this is solely business, not personal. I knew of another manager who shared a story in a class that I was facilitating that had a similar issue arise: an employee, who was female, was getting too much of the wrong kind of attention from the guys in her department because of her provocative attire. The manager, who was male, decided to talk with her about it. He explained to her that a different kind of apparel for office would be much better and more conducive to their workplace. Interestingly, the young lady took his advice, dressed more professionally, and actually formed better "professional" relationships with the men in her department. Apparently, they viewed her differently after she changed her "look". She was very appreciative to her manager for his advice and genuine concern.

Perhaps, you can use this information for addressing your employee. Tell her she's got the look, just not the right one for your workplace.


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