So this is going to be a weird post for my blog, but bear with me…
I need help, but not just me; my workplace needs input. I work in the healthcare industry, but not the typical private doctors’ office or hospital. I work for the health district which serves the community more as a whole in terms of health standards. With that being said, we do have nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as environmental health specialists, and admin personnel.
The topic of controversy that has plagued my particular office is visible tattoos and facial piercings in the workplace. There is a very obvious generation gap between employees; the older generation feel that neither tattoos or facial piercings are professional, thus they need to be either covered up or removed during office hours, where as the younger generation believe that as long as said tattoos and/or facial piercings are not inhibiting an employee’s ability and/or quality of work, then they should be allowed to be displayed.
This discussion began because of a septum piercing one of our front desk staff members had gotten one weekend. This staff member no longer works here, but she sure sparked an intense debate as to what our image policy should say. Before, it was stated that one facial piercing is permitted. This was because a different employee had a nose stud which was fine. Our director at the time found out about the septum piercing and told the employee to remove it; that it wasn’t company policy, which technically, it was; she just personally, did not find that piercing attractive.
We also have a few employees with tattoos on their arms/wrists. Would you prefer to have a nurse conduct an examination on you with bandages and tape up and down his/her arms or would you just want to have the tattoos visible? Can a someone still be seen as ‘professional’ with tattoos and/or piercings?
One of the biggest arguments supporting a lax policy for tattoos and piercings is this: the generation that is hitting the workforce is younger and do not have such strict standards when it comes to such body modification practices as the old generation had/has. If we get an applicant for an open position that has visible tattoos and/or facial piercings, are we not going to hire them based on such qualities? Granted, I know that it would be illegal to make a decision based on such an issue; just play along.
We have been discussing this topic for the past 5 months and we have not made any headway, so I wanted to turn to this wonderful community for suggestions/policies they may have/opinions/anything that could contribute to this discussion. If you have a link of a policy that addresses this issue, feel free to post below. Also, if you wish to share/re-blog this post, that’s cool too. I want to start a conversation and welcome any and all input.
… And let me just state: I do not have facial piercings or tattoos, so this does not affect me in the slightest. But I should also state that I am part of the younger generation and believe that tats and piercings should be allowed. 🙂