Merge's Blog

Motivating employees with dress-up and dress-down days!

In our last instalment on motivating employees, I told you about the value of facilitating lively and informative staff meetings.  So now here is today’s tip.  It’s a fun one: have dress-up and dress-down days.

Have dress-up and dress-down days

Let’s start with dress-up – these can be anything, limited only by your imagination, and of course, the constraints of what would be appropriate in your workplace.  Here are some real-life ideas from client organizations – celebrity look-alike day, crazy tourist day, throwback day, international day, wacky sock day, crazy hat day, ugly tie day, seventies day, favourite cartoon character day, I think you get the idea.  Different holidays make perfect dress-up themes – Valentine’s, St Patrick’s, and of course, how could I forget Halloween.  For even more crazy fun, have twin day – that’s when each person selects a co-worker and they come to work dressed in identical or almost identical outfits.  If you can, give out small low-value prizes to ramp up the fun factor.

Dress-down is what is also referred to as Casual Day or Casual Friday in many organizations.  Within the limit of good taste, people can come to work in more casual clothes, compared to their usual more formal wear.  As odd as it may sound, the ability to dress down can be a huge factor in motivating employees.

One word of caution about dress-up or dress-down days – this is one of those things that has to be voluntary.  In other words, as a leader, don’t force your people to participate.  That just loses its motivation value!  People should join in only if they choose to.  However, don’t fret about not getting enough people to join in; there is a way to increase participation.  Just let your staff play the primary role in organizing this, and you’ll get much more uptake than if you do the organizing.  When your employees do the organizing, you’ll find that peer pressure will kick in … people will be persuaded to join in by their work colleagues.  And bonus: less work for you.

Having fun in this way at work is actually quite effective at motivating employees, perhaps more than you might realize.

Well, have you tried this at your place of work?  Was it effective in motivating employees?  Do tell.

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