Before RaceTrac updated its dress code, the retailer’s employee handbook had an entire paragraph dedicated to how employees should wear belts, said Nichole Upshaw, director of human resources for the chain, at the 2017 NACS Show. But calls for a more relaxed dress code kept surfacing in employee surveys, even after the company expanded rules about body art and pants.
The No. 1 item employees wanted to change? The chain’s rule against brightly colored hair. In the past year, RaceTrac decided to give employees what they want.
“We thought, ‘By god, let them have their purple hair,’ ” Upshaw said.
Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa., also has loosened its policies around tattoos and hair color. “We found those expectations have changed, and customers are more open to demonstrating uniqueness in the workplace,” said Emily Sheetz, director of talent development, at the NACS Show.
61% of people looking for a new job in 2017 said they would have a negative perception of a company that enforced a dress code, according to a survey by workwear retailer Stormline.