Hello Kally,

I know you often provide sound advice to your fellow readers and I am hoping that you might do the same for my case.

You see, I manage a very small not-for-profit organization that made up of mostly volunteers. I do hire a few staff to help manage the office when I’m out on the field. Two ladies that does customer service and doubles up as receptionists and three men that are responsible for any manual labour whom double up as security guards.

The thing is one of my ladies is a recent hire. She is a hardworking and passionate person who believes strongly in our cause. The problem I have with her is that her dressing can sometimes be provocative and it is making the others uncomfortable.

I usually wouldn’t say anything because we are not paying high wages here and good help is hard to find around here. But some of my volunteers begin to casually comment on her dressing sense to me and it has become a concern. I mean she comes in with blouses that are very low or skirts that are mini.

I just don’t know how to broach the topic to her without offending her. If you can give some suggestions, I’ll be very grateful.

Thank you in advance!

Sincerely yours,
Cynthia N


Hi Cynthia,

Thank you for reaching out to me.

Dress sense is really an individual’s choice but if it is making others uncomfortable, you will need to address the issue. I believe honesty is the best policy here but be really tactful here. Like you have said, you don’t want to offend her.

An easy way is to address this issue in a general sense. Bring up sensible dressing during a meeting. You can address it as a form of bringing the team together on an organization image. Cite your examples of sensible dressing without calling anyone out. Maybe even have a few photos of people in appropriate dressing. Pictures say a thousand words where you can’t even being offensive.

Another suggestion is to provide some kind of uniforms. Maybe a printed tee with your charity logo. Recommend highly that the tee should be paired with long jeans of their choice as long as it is not tattered or cut out ones.

Alternatively, you can choose to bring her aside and talk to her about some of the volunteers’ comments. Let her know that her work is definitely appreciated.

Do take into consideration that change won’t happen overnight. Give her at least a month to revamp her wardrobe choices. She might need her salary to come in to buy new clothes. At least you know the change will come in due time.

These are my suggestions and I do hope that they will help you to figure out your next steps.

Good luck!

Regards,
Kally@MiddleMe.net

For more advice from me, you may want to check these out:

A Word Of Advice: I Hide My Depression

A Word of Advice: Blackmail!

A Word of Advice: Friendship wedge in at Work


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8 replies on “A Word of Advice: A Dressing Matter

  1. Good advice Kally. Had you considered to have the inquirer to offer the consideration to what the Goal of the Non-Profit Organization, based on donors as well as the recipients of their services? There could be an effort to offer as part of the Mission Statement of the organization to understand that a dress code that would not detract from the mission. Just a thought. Your suggestions are strong and effective and I hope that my input is not a source of abrasion.

    Like

  2. Thanks Kally, right on!

    I liked your final recommendation best.

    If this is a charity similar to Goodwill or the Salvation Army; perhaps in addition to the discussion she might offer to GIFT her a suitable wardrobe for the working environment.

    Be kind, be gentle BUT also be FIRM and direct that what is taking place is not satisfactory work attire.

    Sharing the TRUTH is always the best policy; but one can do so diplomatically and kindly.
    God Bless,
    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

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