GM’s Business Changes Involve a Casual Take on Dress Code. Impressive Change or are They Working Against their Business Model?

by Rachel Yeomans | November 30th, 2009   

GM is updating its look – literally. Some of the changes include terming a conference room a “Zen Room”, holding ride-and-drive events for GM employees, and working in a new office dress code. Or rather, almost eliminating it.

As stated from a memo from GM’s Vice President of Global Human Resources, Mary Barra: “As we work to create the New GM with a new culture that includes personal accountability, our existing dress code seems outdated. Going forward, our dress code policy is ‘Dress appropriately.’

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Translation: No shirt, no shoes, no service? Or maybe it means no sweatpants or pajama pants to work. Whatever the bottom line of the new dress code policy, the Brooks Brothers influence that used to reign throughout GM seems to be replaced primarily with the likes of Levi’s and Gap Denim.

Throughout my working life, I have always felt more productive in my job when I take care in how I look and how I dress. I think that changes in dress code can most assuredly bring out change – but whether the resulting change is positive or negative results in whether the changes make the employees feel good about themselves. Sometimes dress codes work to employees’ advantage because when given the freedom to do so, they most likely won’t try to take that extra step in their pumps or loafers but rather flip flops or sneakers. Do you feel that GM is being too lenient in its dress code policy change? You be the judge.

What Changes Do You Think the Dress Code Change Will Bring About?

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2 comments
Cherish
Cherish

I believe people are most effective when they are comfortable. I have a friend who works for an organization nearly as big as GM and they have a "wear what's appropriate" policy. They can wear flip flops, gym shoes, tanks, Or suits and dresses. Meetings Or client interaction require dress attire and if you dress down you are responsible for making sure you have appropriate clothing in case of "emergency". Seems to work fine and they are a very productive organization. I definitely don't think its a bad idea, work taking a chance to see!

Cherish
Cherish

I believe people are most effective when they are comfortable. I have a friend who works for an organization nearly as big as GM and they have a "wear what's appropriate" policy. They can wear flip flops, gym shoes, tanks, Or suits and dresses. Meetings Or client interaction require dress attire and if you dress down you are responsible for making sure you have appropriate clothing in case of "emergency". Seems to work fine and they are a very productive organization. I definitely don't think its a bad idea, work taking a chance to see!