Accessability Links

Employee appearance standards...where is the limit?

Posted by
17 Apr 2015
With my personal experience previously working for Steiner,  the 'largest and most renowned company that operates spas at sea', I am fully versed on upholding the high expectation and quality of its employees, maintaining standards and consistently portraying a professional and immaculate image, and I take a certain pride in that. I do feel however, that there is a limit to expectation and standards and in very occasional circumstances these can be exceeded.

I recently watched a documentary on a destination venue that promotes itself as being the 'world's most luxurious hotel'. I was drawn in to the precision and expectancy that is sought within all the staff and potential employees that come into contact with the Hiring Manager of the 'Billion Pound Hotel' and the rigorous recruitment process that goes with it.

It was explained that all lobby hostess' have to be at least 160cm tall dependant on their culture and how many languages they can speak. Doormen have to be at least 185cm tall and have had a validation checked prior to even getting to the interview stage, confirming their height and with a picture proving they are 'aesthetically pleasing'. It is policy to "never say no” to any guest, extreme examples were given of guests asking the chef to cook a dead alligator they found, to extravagant marriage proposals on helipads. Incoming employees are expected to know the difference between kitten heels and standard heels, wool and cashmere and 'mediocre' champagne to high end. Employees are also expected to be able to string off a list of the top five handbag designers in the world and which restaurant to visit for the finest dining experience. This information is tested during the telephone interview stage to identify whether the potential candidate has the knowledge and responsiveness to source the possible extravagances that guests may require of them - it does make sense with suites ranging from £900 up to a heady £60,000 per night!

The programme reminded me of the standard expected of Steiner employees when working on board the cruise ships spas'. Our makeup had to be impeccable consisting of one type of each to include concealer, foundation, bronzer, blusher, eye liner, lip liner, lipstick- the list goes on. We were coached on what our skin care regime should be, what to eat, how long to exercise for, how to press our uniforms, standard uniform shoes and flesh coloured pop socks (no ladders!) and no jewellery on show except for single studded earrings. From the moment we were in public space, our name badge had to be on display with a helpful and smiling appearance, providing a service to all guests, even if we weren't officially at work.

These circumstances may put some people off a position or company, but on the other hand can be extremely appealing. A company or person that takes pride in their appearance and standard is quite often more precise and conscientious which is therefore represented in the work produced, making the position or candidate exceedingly desirable.  

At Sellick Partnership we take a slightly more relaxed approach (in comparison to the likes of Steiner and the Burg Al Arab) with regard to dress code and the appearance of our employees. We are given the freedom to choose what business dress we prefer and use our own judgement to make an informed decision of what is work appropriate. It proves that there doesn't have to be stringent rules to ensure the image we want of the business is portrayed and it actually helps display the personality of our best asset; our employees.

Where do you think the limit is on employee appearance standards? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below...
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