Tattoos in the Workplace? One Employer Says, “Absolutely”

Some employers frown upon tattoos and others begrudgingly accept them, knowing that sometimes the best talent comes adorned with body art.  However, one employer appears to have not only embraced tattoos, but is actually encouraging employees to decorate their bodies…with a tattoo of the company logo.  What do employees get for this extreme demonstration of loyalty?  A 15 percent bump in pay, according to a report last week by the CBS affiliate in Albany, New York.  Rapid Realty, based in Brooklyn, New York, even pays for the tattoos, which can cost up to $300.  Since the “loyalty program” was announced, 40 employees have been inked.  “In an era where job security is no longer guaranteed, particularly in an industry as volatile as real estate, it is surprising that so many employees would permanently brand themselves with an employer’s logo.  There is also a real risk that such a visible demonstration of loyalty will backfire if employees who did not get tattoos are treated differently or even perceive that they are valued less because of their decision,” noted John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  What are the pitfalls for both the employer and the employee in this type of loyalty building program?  How do most employers view tattoos in the workplace?  Are tattoos an obstacle to job-search success?  What are other ways that employers boost loyalty and morale?   

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