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Do Your Employees Dress For Failure?
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WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 8:47:43 AM
Re: Dressing for success?
PaulS681, I couldn't agree more when it comes to meeting clients.  Non verbal communications almost always outweighs verbal communication. I still believe showing respect is a critical component of getting things accomplished with others.  How you dress is a reflection of your respect for others. 
virsingh211
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virsingh211,
User Rank: Strategist
1/6/2014 | 3:47:38 AM
Re: some implementation details
To our success, education on which we spend min 18years, contribute only 15% 
and our Attitude contributes 85%. I guess this is enough to understand our
homework on dressing and presentation.
efemera
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efemera,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/6/2014 | 2:58:23 AM
some implementation details
Clear communication trumps. Suits aside, here are some things to keep in mind when negotiating improvements in communication:

 

Many brilliant engineers are dyslexic.

Many brilliant engineers do not speak English as their first language.

Many brilliant engineers are not brilliant writers.

 

I can't tell you the number of brilliant architectures I've seen littered with typos in the comments and run-on sentences in the docs. I can't tell you the number of sloppily dressed engineers I've worked with who had more respect for humanity in their little finger than the entire well-heeled sales department. I agree that we need better comportment in industry, but disagree with the importance of the trappings of social class. Dignity won't be won by putting on suits and speaking in formal English.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2014 | 7:01:54 PM
Re: Dressing for success?
@WKash... Great point... There is a time and place for dressing professionally. Certainly if you do work from home there is no need but if you are meeting clients then yes.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2014 | 6:54:49 PM
Sloppy writing
 One of the most annoying things to me is typos in email. I am not the best speller but that's why I use spellcheck. Even when I do these posts I copy and paste them into word to check my spelling. No one has any excuse to misspell anymore. Sure, a few may get by but on the whole you can get most typos and correct them. When there is an email that is littered with poor grammar and bad spelling that is just being lazy and doesn't reflect well on the sender. If it's an external email it reflects poorly on the company. Anytime you send an email, internal or external, you are representing the company.
MichaelC343
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MichaelC343,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/5/2014 | 4:59:37 PM
Attire, Communcations & Respect
Glad to see all the positive comments. Don't get hung up on suits, ties, etc.  Take the message as a whole, (including that management cared enough to meet with everyone weekly!).  Most agreed with the communications and respect pieces.  Our company, like many did away with Casual Friday, and issued guidelines overall (not suits) as all attire had digressed to an inappropriate state for the office.  The changes did result in a more serious (and productive) tone for work.

Personally, I think IM and Texting habits have bled over to email - in a negative way.  With too many typos, often I am left trying to understand what the sender meant.  Many people don't even re-read or proof their emails before hitting SEND.
TechNoSeattle
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TechNoSeattle,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/3/2014 | 6:57:56 PM
Mixed Feelings
I joined JP Morgan out of college in 1987.  Dark suits, white shirts and power ties were the order of the day.  We received intensive training in computers (the IBM AT came out that year, the MAC was three years old), public speaking and most importantly, written communications.  Everything I wrote was edited three or four times for brevity before being considered "final".

Of all of these, good writing and the ability to express my ideas proved the most valuable lessons I learned.  I stopped wearing suits to work 20 years ago, and even though my business now is servicing ultra high net worth individuals, our dress is business casual and ties are distinctly out of place.

I've come to feel that offices are anachronisms that tend to divide employees.  They've become less and less relevant in an age where information sharing and collaboration are critical.  If you want privacy, duck into a conference room.

The "manuals" you reference sound somewhat prescriptive in this day and age, but they touch on an important point; employee success is about setting clear expectations, and then having a culture that doesn't tolerate compromise.  I've found that managing by exception works best here.

 
Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Strategist
1/3/2014 | 5:15:32 PM
Men Only?
"Men were to exhibit good manners and ambition."

Ah, yes! I do remember those days. The women, on the other hand, were to remain at their desks behind their IBM Selectrics outside those furnished offices.

Men used to wear jackets, ties, and hats when attending sporting events, too.

Sorry, but wearing a suit these days in our profession usually means you're either there for an interview or will be going to a mid-day funeral.

Good writing, however, doesn't go out of fashion. My colleagues, men and women, write just as well now as they did decades ago. Of course, there are... and always were... the exceptions.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2014 | 4:42:16 PM
Re: What about the rest of it?
That's the part that grabbed my attention too.

An office for everyone?

Frequent sessions on how to be a better engineer?

Publications on effective communication?

These things are viewed as nothing more than red numbers in a spreadsheet now. I wonder if it is a coincidence that so many employers are screaming about a lack of qualified applicants.

 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Moderator
1/3/2014 | 2:49:04 PM
There is something to be said for formality
If nothing else, when you dress up, you're signalling that what you're doing is important.  Our culture has grown increasingly casual, and while I like working in a casual office, I'm not at all certain I would want politicians or corporate executives to wear T-shirts and jeans on the job.

And it really doesn't hurt for ladies and gentlemen to dress as such.

 
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