Article

Employee Name Calling

Growing up, I remember being told, “Always get person’s name right.”

It’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to people.

A person’s name is important to them and you want to say it correctly and spell it correctly.

It’s a major part of someone’s identity, which means getting it wrong can result in feelings of disrespect or even worse—rejection.

What about the people you work with? What names are you calling them?

I’m not talking about first and last names anymore.

Do you call them Employees or Staff? Maybe Team Members?

What does your organization call them in your publications and on your website?

Names and labels really matter. The right ones can inspire, empower and give people a strong sense of identity.

Disney calls their people Cast Members.
Jet Blue calls their people Crew Members.
Apple calls their Apple Store people Geniuses.

Other companies have created original names based on their company name.

Zappos calls their people Zapponians.
Google calls their people Googlers.

I have a client that is an employee owned company. They call their people Employee Owners.

I suggested they drop the first half and simply call them Owners. The name Owners is empowering and better reflects the ownership mentality that is a part of their company culture.

They agreed.

Calling employees a name with meaning isn’t a magic pill, but it is step toward better employee engagement.

Because a strong name combined with a strong company culture inspires people to BE more and DO more.