New UBS Dress Code: No Earrings for Men

The Story

In a pilot for five UBS locations, the company created a 43-page dress code.  No black nail polish  or too-short skirts if UBS employees want to get ahead.  The code advises employees how to "enhance your personality" and "increase your popularity" by wearing "discreet lipstick" and getting a "stylish haircut."  The new code may be part of UBS's attempts to rebuild their image, like the commercial, "We Will Not Rest."


Discussion Starters

  • What was the dress code for previous places where you have worked?  Did you think the attire was appropriate, too formal, or too informal for the business, considering the industry and company culture?
  • Could such a dress code, which promotes conservative banking attire rebuild USB's image?  Does USB's recent commercial, "We Will Not Rest."

Assignment Ideas

  • Working in small groups, draft a list of instructions that you believe should be included in a company's dress code.  Of course, every company is different, so choose a company that all of you know.  After you have drafted a list, work on an organizational structure: how can you group topics clearly and logically?
  • Write an email to employees to introduce your new dress code.  What will be important for employees to know about the code (which you can attach)?  How can you present the code in the best possible light, so that employees understand the rationale and buy into the change.