Suits and ties are still essential. But they’re not essential every day. More and more offices are switching from formal business attire to casual looks. The switch isn’t confining itself to clothing, either. Communication styles are developing a more natural tone, and a looser corporate culture is a huge draw for new employees. But dropping all the rigid standards between work and regular life isn’t the way to do it. Follow these three tips as you’re overhauling your office’s corporate culture.

1. Emphasize ‘casual’ over ‘informal.’

When the rules are being broken and done away with, it’s hard to find where the new rules are. So make sure all of the managers and team leads are on the same page about the standards. You can drop to a casual dress code and go by first names, but keep the language clean (or quiet when it isn’t). Employees should be comfortable, but they shouldn’t be so informal that others are uncomfortable.

2. Work with HR every step of the way.

The best way to do that is to work with HR. If your company outsources most of the standard HR work, bring in a consultant. Even as work culture may be dropping its rigidity, it’s more important than ever to stay firm on ethics. Workplace discrimination and anything that even approaches harassment need to have strict, standardized procedures. This doesn’t just protect your employees. It protects your company.

3. Make sure your hiring process sets the tone.

How you present your company from the very start matters. If you hire employees through the same Taleo template as older companies, that tells prospective employees about your business. They also get information from if you have a one-page application on your site, if you want written answers, or if you accept resumes through LinkedIn. Each style has positives and negatives, but you need to decide which one will get you the employees you want.

Go to Tangram Studios for more insight into how corporate culture is changing.