Name tag pros and cons: the feedback

Name tagI am pleased that so many responded to my article Name tags – small things can be a big deal. Obviously it is a topic that hit a nerve and many people feel strongly about. At eHotelier we appreciate the input of our subscribers and we believe that many issues could be resolved if we talk about it.

Overwhelmingly the response has sided with the belief that name tags should be worn by hotel staff. To summarize the various reasons for wearing them:

  • Communication
  • Recognition
  • Motivation
  • Quality and standards control
  • Safety and security
  • Emergency management
  • Brand recognition

Most responses claimed that name tags are necessary as a comfortable and more personal way to interact, not only with guests, but also among work colleagues. Given that our industry generally deals with a high level of staff turnover, they are especially important in properties with large staff numbers.

Name tags are not unique to hotels – they are used in many industries, but those who felt they should not be worn most often cited staff safety and security concerns. I would hope that employees are proud of the company or hotel they work for, and in my 40 years in the industry, I have never had an issue from a staff member.

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Here is a sampling of actual feedback:

“I think companies that don’t require name tags are missing out on genuine warm human connections with guests.” Susan Cantor

“I believe name tags are essential as if you address a guest by their name, they will do the same and it can be a sign of reciprocal hospitality with each other.” Hei Man Tracy Wong

But Ciara Fitzpatrick believes the no name tag policy has its merits. “The idea is that it prompts the guest to ask their name and opens up a conversation. I certainly don’t think it makes the staff member “invisible”, in fact I think it’s the opposite.”

Besides general interaction, name tags are a great tool to motivate, recognize and appreciate good service.

“It is a great motivation to keep our people engaged in a first class service.” Adair Parreiras Junior

Oliver Doche has a strong view: “Everyone has to be identifiable. It is a matter of guarantee of quality service – to be able to identify who gave a good service and who did not. I don’t allow any of my staff to work without that badge.”

Guest safety and security has become an issue in many countries around the globe and most service industries need to clearly identify the people who belong to the organization either with name tags or identification badges.

Gail Weston Shazor points out: “It is a safety measure to be able to identify a person belonging to a property and often to a department. Individuals who do not work for the property appearing in areas of the hotel could pose a serious risk to both guests and employees. “

Tanja Kessel adds: “A name tag is crucial for identification purpose, especially in emergency situations and guest contact positions. For me the name tag definitely represents hospitality, safety and “can do attitude”. Being responsible for the area you work for is a MUST.”

“I fully agree with your article and would go even further – maybe the name and logo should be embroidered on to the uniform or for management on the suit jacket…like our Chefs. This way they will take care of the uniform and there is even a degree of security.” Francis

“I am old fashioned and believe a name tag has advantages. Maybe in the future when an iPad or watches can read / scan the name of people near us, name tags might become obsolete! Christoph Voegeli, General Manager Radisson BLu Dhaka Water Garden

“Yes, I think name tags are critical and should also speak to where the employee is from.” Ron Stephen

“Dear Mr Gubler, I could not agree more, particularly with regard to foreign languages. Thank you for a very good article.” Paul Wilkes

“That was a very interesting subject which hasn’t been frequently touched on before. I would like to find out more about the standards concerning the use of first and last names on a hotel name badge. In the Middle East, it’s very common to find many associates holding the same first name (e.g. Mohamed or Ahmed) which is not ideal for a first name only policy.” Ayad

“Name tags are not only a practical tool of recognition, but they are also an important motivational tool as most staff wear the brand with pride. No doubt it is a great exposer of the brand too and it is for free! Guests also feel comfortable in being able to address the employee by their name especially when they have been addressed by their name in the first place. Gavin Faull, President, Swiss-Belhotels International

In summary, of the many more comments generated on the value of name tags, most people, particularly those who had been in the industry for some time, were in favour of their use for the reasons I listed above.

Those opposed to wearing name tags most often cited staff security reasons. I agree that staff security is very important, however, this decision, like all those made in a hotel, must keep the wants and needs of the guests as the top priority.

And keeping guests’ perspectives in mind, I believe most continue to prefer that hotel staff identify themselves via name tags.

About the author

Fritz GublerFritz Gubler is the President of eHotelier. He has many years of experience across the globe in a wide range of roles in the hospitality industry. Read more about his background in the About Us section of eHotelier.


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