May 29, 2018 • digitalmedia • Uniforms • Comments Off on Make a Good First Impression with Uniforms
From the first moment clients walk into your medical facility, they are taking stock of their surroundings. Their most pressing concerns are how they can get seen quickly and whether they will find thorough, compassionate care to meet their need and alleviate their concerns. In other words, they’re hoping they can trust you to take care of them, and they’re looking for signals that this trust won’t be misplaced.
Before a patient even meets a staff member face to face, the environment your hospital creates is already setting patients up for their experience with you, and uniforms are an important part of cultivating the right environment. You can make an excellent first impression with uniforms, setting the hospital-client relationship up for a great start. Here’s why uniform programs work.
A hospital should never come off as a “Mom-and-Pop” establishment. Therefore the visual field should never look jumbled. Hospitals should be a haven of cleanliness, order, planning, precision, readiness, and standard practice. You need to display your highest level of professionalism from the very first moment. In other words, a patient walking into your hospital should immediately think, They’re professionals; they know what they are doing, and they are going to do it well.
An organized uniform program gives clients a clean and orderly visual field and draws attention to the professional qualification of your staff. This gives a good first impression of your hospital, and gains confidence from patients. And uniform programs can be tailored to your hospital and your specific staff needs so that professionalism never needs to conflict with comfort or with the practical demands of medical employees’ daily work.
Apart from uniforms worn for performance—dance, sports, music—a uniform is always worn by someone who has an intention to serve. And just as in a performance, a uniform is intended to draw attention away from individual identity and on the performance itself, so a work uniform is meant to do the same. Uniforms communicate the intention to serve, not the intention to be seen. Even as they look great and make a good first impression by showing professionalism, they also express a certain humility and dedication to the task. You do not wear a uniform unless you are serious about the job.
If a uniform is sufficiently comfortable and attractive, and if the uniform program is organized in a way that makes it easy for employees to manage, uniforms have even been known to encourage and increase employee productivity. By “productivity,” it should not simply be understood that employees will get more done in a given day, though that is certainly possible, and often desirable. But productivity in a hospital is not the same as productivity on an assembly line or at a desk job. The energy dedicated to another job to do “more” might mean doing current work with an extra level of conscientiousness. This is perfectly suited to wearing a uniform because wearing a uniform increases consciousness of one’s job. The wearing of a uniform of which you are proud has a positive psychological effect, influencing employees to live even more truly into their work. And employees who are dedicated and proud to serve make your most powerful impressions.
A uniform program ensures that a uniform expresses the identity of the employee clearly, but only according to their job description. The first thing a patient needs to know, even before an employee’s name, is Can this person help me? If a clear and helpful color-coding system is put in place, patients and other clients can very quickly know the answer to their question. They can also rest assured that they’ll be able to quickly and easily identify the staff attending to them, and if necessary, alert the right person in case they need assistance.
Why do professional sports teams spend some much care and money designing their uniforms? They’re certainly “brand conscious” in their own way. Not because the players are trying to sell something (though the team owners are), but because they are trying to sell an impression—to the competition and to their fans. Before the first play even begins, two teams with equal performance can give very different impressions on the field based on their uniforms alone, and this is because of the power of a team in the right uniform to signal credibility.
Coaches, team owners, and players know we are all visual creatures, and that a group of people wearing the same thing signals to our minds that they are down to business, that they know what they are doing, and that they are part of a team. In some ways, it’s a bit of an “X” factor, the importance of which is understood best when it’s missing.
What would happen if a professional football team came out onto the field wearing different jerseys? We could still enjoy the game, and with a concentrated effort we might be able to distinguish one team from another, but the power uniforms add to the game would be missing. We’d wonder who’s who, and question whether the players were really serious, or just playing for fun. The team’s abilities would not have changed, but a professional game would still lack an essential element.
When a uniform is designed to impress and signals the suitability of the wearer for the task, the power to make a good impression doubles when joined to a team through a uniform program. A uniform is worth more than the sum of its parts.
The impression a good uniform makes cannot be overestimated. Do you have a uniform program in place for your hospital yet? Fontis Solutions specializes in custom building uniform programs for hospitals that satisfy your business needs and your employees’ preferences through an easy-to-navigate ordering system. Contact a consultant today, and let us get you started.
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