Getting a name badge for your company should not be taken lightly. There are various decisions that need to made, from the style, coating, material, clips and fittings, down to the size, design, and color. Knowing your budget and supplier can help ease the decision-making, as you would know how much you can spend and what your badge supplier can deliver. But there are additional choices that would fall in the hands of a few, or just you as the business owner or ultimate decision-maker. There are at least a couple of potential borderline arguments that you may encounter when choosing what information to actually put on the name badge. One of these debates stem from concerns with privacy and security. FULL NAME versus FIRST NAME ONLY You may receive some opposition with the decision to implement name badges in the workplace. Once your employees get over the initial shock of having their names exposed, the next obstacle you would likely meet is how much of their names will actually be made public. Having full names on display in an office environment may not be too much of an issue. After all, the workplace can provide some sense of security with the knowledge that there’s information on file about anyone and everyone who works there – if another employee commits an offense or behaves inappropriately, there would be a way to report and track that person down. The same logic applies when an employee is cited for outstanding behavior. At its core, full names on name badges increase employee accountability and uphold professional behavior. The issue on using full names takes on a more serious note if your employees are front liners for your business and deal with the public head on. This applies (but is not limited) to store and restaurant employees, and is especially true for people who work in hospitals and healthcare facilities. There have been reported cases of stalking or harassment attributed to having full names displayed on name badges, and employees propose that first names should be sufficient for their welfare and peace of mind. So how do you achieve a professional and polished look without compromising your employee’s privacy and security? There are some industries that are legally required to use full names on badges, but for others where policies are not so rigid, the issue should definitely be open for discussion. One of the more practical options to consider would be to use the first name AND first initial of the last name – this diminishes the threat to privacy without being too informal. Other companies could allow employees to use less identifying last names, like Jones or Smith, provided that there is a database that keeps track of who’s who. It may seem like a lot of trouble for something so simple, but the implications are real. Get your employees’ opinion on the matter. If you decide to use their full names, it would be smart to emphasize the benefits for all parties involved. Furthermore, have guidelines in place to minimize the potential invasion of your employees’ privacy (i.e. not to release employee information or work schedules over the phone), and have system that allows your employees to file a report should an untoward incident occur. A name badge policy is great for branding, and it should be great for your employees too. If full names are non-negotiable, give your employees comfort in knowing that you’ve got their back.