After all, if you're paying for sw to spot "poor grammar and names
of body parts", you want to ensure that there wasn't a single
natural language geek/lisp-head involved who was wearing "a skirt
that really is too short", or, worse yet, "unpolished shoes"
M E M O R A N D U M
To: XXX Staff
From: X X XXXXXXX [signed]
Subj: Professional Appearance
Three years ago, in XXXXXXXX, I sent a memo to XXX employees that outlined
some of the things that help to make XXX successful. That memo became known
as the "shoe-shine memo" because it contained, among other things, XXX's
first written words on what might be called a "dress code". Well, in the
three years since that memo, XXX has grown from about XXX people to nearly
XXX and, more telling, over XX% of our current employees weren't here in
XXXXXXX. Lately, I've had a number of people ask me to re-issue that memo,
or at least the words dealing with professional appearance -- so here's that
"Personal Pride -- To serve customers well and to be successful in a
services business, every employee must have a high degree of personal
pride. Each of you should take pride in who you are, what you do, where
you work and how you look. While XXX has systems and procedures to ensure
the quality of our work, the personal pride of every employee is the best
insurance against slipping into bad habits. If your customer isn't very
demanding and will let you get by with an inferior product -- dont' succumb;
if your workplace is in a condition that's not appropriate to entertain
your customer -- take a few minutes to straighten it up; and if your personal
appearance isn't what it should be -- then spruce up your wardrobe, get a
haircut or a new hairdo, shine your shoes, lose some weight or do whatever
else is required to achieve that personal pride."
XXX has never had a formal dress code -- we've never had to. In the past,
our colleagues, project managers and friends imparted the professional
standard that we expect by example and sometimes by a quick word. But I've
noticed that this is apparently no longer enough because I'm seeing more and
more people dress in wholly inappropriate business attire. Thus, this memo
provides more written guidance in this area.
Rather than trying to prescribe exactly what is appropriate or not, we suggest
that, when you get ready to go to wrok in the morning, dress as if you:
- Expect to see your client;
- Expect to be called to an impromptu meeting with company executives;
- Expect to be called to speak in front of the college candidates
interviewing today; or
- Are giving a presentation to XXX management.
Some additional thoughts are provided in Enclosure 1.
In general, such reflection will lead you to consider the following types
Men: Business suits
Sport jacket and slacks (not jeans)
Clean, pressed shirt
Casual or dress shoes (not running shoes or sandals)
Women: Business suits
Skirts/dress slacks and blouse/dress sweater(not stretch pants or jeans)
Casual or dress shoes (not running shoes or sandals)
We make exceptions to these guidelines for people who are assigned full-time to
proposals while working in a proposal tank and there are occasional "dress-down"
days when the standards for professional appearance are relaxed. Otherwise,
I'd appreciate it if everyone would follow these guidelines to help maintain
our company's professional standards.
WHY YOUR APPEARANCE IS IMPORTANT TO OUR CUSTOMERS, TO XXX AND YOURSELF
* Customer service and satisfaction is a key factor in repeat business and
follow-on work for XXX. Each person at XXX must be ready to meet with
existing or potential customers.
* Quality means providing the best possible product or service -- it means
offering your customer trust and statisfaction -- your manners and appearance
help convey that.
* Just because you are not meeting with a customer on a particular day does
not mean that someone else in your group may not have a meeting -- they may
ask you to sit in or offer your expertise in a particular matter. You must
be prepeared to look your professional best.
* Think about your work -- and your appearance -- from the customer's point
of view. How would you feel if you were spending millions of dollars on a
project and had to meet with someone in jeans, skin-tight pants, a skirt that
really is too short, a wrinkled suit or shirt, unpolished shoes,
under-garments showing, out of season clothing, no socks or pantyhose? How
much faith could you put into this person's presentation? Would you feel
that they were committed professionals?
* Even small changes can add up to big differences -- make sure your clothes
are clean and neatly pressed. Throw away that dirty tie. Look for ways to
improve your appearance. Ask yourself what your customers might look for in
a professional and incorporate these things into your daily appearance. What
do you look for when you are meeting with subcontractors or competitors?
* Remember, customers are the source of our company's revenues and profits --
and your paycheck and secuirty. In today's global economy, our company
competes against every similar company in the world. If we don't attract and
keep customers by presenting an image of professionalism and quality, someone
* Quality in your appearance helps make what you do worthwhile -- not just for
the company, but for you. It feels good to do -- and be -- the best and look
* Casual dress is best left for evening as weekends; if you dress casually
for work, you may be called for a meeting with company executives and you will
look out-of-place along side the other professionally dressed attendees.
* Career development -- do you look like a manager, like a person that can
solve problems, like a person with a positive outlook and self-esteem? Or
do youj look like someone that partied too much last night, or didn't take
the time to match their socks? Do you look like a person that just can't
"get it together"? First impressions mean everything -- ask youself how
did you dress for your initial interview here? Why? What did you wear for
your first day at work? You were concerned about how others perceived you
and you wanted that first crucial impression to be a positive one. Carry
that attitude with you every day. Respect yourself and your co-workers --
dress appropriately for the job. We are a team -- don't let the other
team members down with an unacceptable appearance.