The economy looks like it is finally waking up! This renewed optimism by corporate leaders is great news but now this makes the war for talent even greater as the best candidates are in demand & they know it. So how do they choose whether to stay or leave their current employer? This dilemma has seen a steep rise in the importance of Employee Engagement. This takes many forms but recently the key focus has been on culture. The right culture is now more vital than ever in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Dress down Friday – love them or hate them it is not a new thing and now some high profile banking institutions have this as policy. Hours are now spent picking an outfit to be on trend! Yet if you walk into any media environment it is like that every day.

Can what you wear to work change your approach to how you work? For some organisations this means you can merely remove your tie whilst others allow trainers and onesies!

What, you may ask, happens when your company merges with another company? This I have seen first hand when a strictly shirt and blazer at all times (male and female) merged with a company where flip flops and trainers were the norm. It was interesting to see, the sharp 8.30am start employees mix with the 9.15am starters who are still making their breakfast. Everyone became very exposed, as there was nothing wrong with either approach before as it was the norm. When it comes to interviews what is deemed work attire becomes even more of a mine field, gone are the days where we say to candidates, black jacket, heels or a tie – never both! My advice is do your research and think about what the company culture is like. Just because you currently work in jeans and trainers doesn't mean you couldn't succeed in a suited environment and vice versa but you will need to think about your approach. Hence for companies out there trying to change their culture, start with the little things and it will develop from there as culture is organic and takes time to develop.

Catherine is a Senior Consultant in London and doesn't mind wearing jeans on the odd Friday.

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