Flip Flop Friday!?!
Does your place of business allow flip flops?? I bet they do if you are in California! I don’t know if it’s true (I’d love some feedback) but my sense is that many businesses that are in warm climates, allow a much more casual workplace that includes flip flops every day of the week, not just Friday. I’m picturing a company like Google where it seems, according to the press anyway, that employees show up to work in shorts and flip flops. Dress code is often highly influenced by U.S. regions and climate. Again, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it seems like employers on the East coast (i.e. NY and East), are more formal than the Midwest.
In the Midwest, when I was meeting with a web developer, he showed up in shorts and flip flops – and yes, it was summertime. But I have to say, I was somewhat offended and didn’t feel that he was taking our meeting seriously. I expect that when employees are meeting with customers (I was the customer in that scenario) that they will at least dress in business casual attire. To be fair, I am not a Millennial. But I am happier in a pair of blue jeans than I am in a business suit. I want to be comfortable. But I still think if you’re meeting with a customer or client that you should dress up a bit. If you’re meeting with an international customer, you may have to dress up a lot.
Dress Code is just one of 12 Sticking Points that Haydn Shaw talks about in his book Sticking Points. For the first time ever, many companies have 4 generations trying to work together. Why does there always seems to be tension between the generations? This is a great read – how many generations do you have in your workplace? Millennials don’t understand why Traditionalists or Baby Boomers don’t allow flip flops. Shaw walks through a simple process that can help your teams work out their difference. Although you may need an unbiased party, such as HR U Can Trust, to lead the discussion.
I personally do not like flip flops. They are uncomfortable (for me), noisy, and I consider them to be unprofessional. But if they don’t cause a safety issue, and you won’t be interacting or coming in contact with a customer, what’s the harm? If someone else like flip flops because they’re comfortable, why not? They might even be more productive – because they’re comfortable.
So don’t just write off the requests from your Millennials. Listen to your team and be willing to flex on some issues that, at the end of the day, may not really matter all that much.