An investigation of the impact of mandatory employee uniform policy on employee job satisfaction in retail business outlets: A case of Safaricom Ltd
Mandatory employees' uniforms generally constitute an important component of hospitality or a business establishment's brand identity. Not only do uniforms create a specific impression of a property, but they are an integral part of the atmosphere created by a business enterprise. This study sought to investigate the impact of mandatory employees' uniforms policy and employee job satisfaction in retail business outlets in the case of Safaricom Ltd in Kenya. This provided insights into designing of employees uniforms and improved on employee job satisfaction in addition to influencing employment policy issues. The population of study was 22 retail outlets with 600 uniformed employees. A uniformed employee working before and after the introduction of the uniform was used as the unit of analysis. This was a case of a single firm participating in the telecommunications industry. The sample size was two retail outlets with a total of 60 uniformed employees, one outlet in Nairobi province (30 interview respondents and 1 retail manager) at Sarit Centre and one in Eldoret (30 interview respondents and 1 retail manager). The study commenced on October 30th 2009 and data collection undertaken for a period of two weeks ending on November 10th 2009. Secondary data collection included perusal of documents (document analysis). Primary data collection involved key informant interviews with uniformed employees and retail outlets managers. Methods for data collection used were surveys and observation while the tools were face to face interviews, administration of mail questionnaires, context analysis document analysis and participant observation. The processing of data results begun shortly after the field data collection commenced. Completed data collection instruments were edited and data fed into computer. The data was entered and analyzed by simple descriptive analysis using statistical package for social scientists (SPSS Version 12) computer software. The study found out that the uniform policy had little negative effect on employee job satisfaction, it was also clear from the findings that introduction of uniform affected the employee job satisfaction negatively, and the attitude towards uniform was found to impact negatively on employee job satisfaction. From the findings, the researcher recommended the there should be staff consultations on new decisions that affect company operations and staff, Companies should embrace change management practices prior to introduction of new policies, procedures and operational system for participatory and all inclusive decision process. The situations that demand staff to wear company attire to take into account staff needs and requirements.