We live in a world where increasingly businesses want to have their employees wear name badges. This is understandable, because there are many benefits to having them do so. But we also live in a world filled with issues that run the gamut, from identity theft to stalkers. Because of these issues, it makes people wonder if it’s ever acceptable to have people use fake ames on their name badges. 

Around Australia, and especially in the cities of Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne, issues like stalking are something that will make people sit up and listen. Things like this have become increasingly more popular because of social media. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to keep tabs on other people and peek into their life without them knowing it. Many people, even unknowingly, have their social media accounts set to where anyone can see them, giving would-be stalkers and others checking up on them a glimpse into their everyday life. From those accounts, the stalker can learn a lot about the person they are checking up on. 

This has recently become an issue in the worldwide news, when Transport of London workers discussed it with the news media. Some of the employees announced that there are people who come by while they are working and become fixated. When that happens, they tend to read the person’s name badge and then they will look the person up on Facebook or other social media accounts. This type of behavior regarding the name badges that the employees wear has prompted the company to allow the workers to use fake names on their name badges. 

The issue with the London Underground workers may be what has brought this issue to light, but it’s one that others around the world deal with from time to time as well. There are employees who for whatever reason to do not want their name disclosed on their name badge. If you have employees who don’t want to wear name badges, this may even be one of the issues that is keeping them from wanting to do so. How you handle the issue is all up to you, but it’s not a bad idea to consider allowing them to use a fake name on the name badge. 

In an effort to help protect the workers’ identities, the London Underground workers are allowed to have a fake name on their name badge, although they do still have to use a name badge each day they are at work. The employees are allowed to pick the fake name that they want on their badge, which gives them a little more control over what is used. The whole process of doing this helps to keep the workers feeling safer. If they come in contact with someone who wants to try to look them up or stalk them, the person doesn’t really know their name, so it puts up a road block or at least slows them down. 

Allowing employees to use a fake name on their name badge is a good move, especially if your employees have fears about stalking or if someone will try to look them up online. That doesn’t mean that you can’t set some rules with it, because you can. Some rules you will want to consider include what type of name you allow them to create that is fake, and ensuring that you keep tabs on who has what fake name badge. 

Avoid allowing employees to choose names like “Donald Duck” to put on their name badge, or anything that may come across as a joke or offensive. Plus, keeping tabs on who uses the fake name badges still gives you the ability to gain the customer service benefits that come with name badges. For example, if someone reports that one of your employees provided great customer service (or not so great), you will be able to quickly identify who that person is, even if they are using a fake name. 

If you allow fake names to be used on the name badges, let your employees know that it’s not to be taken lightly. You are doing it as a measure to help protect their identity, but you still require compliance in wearing them and in taking responsibility for the name and reputation they are creating with the public under that name. 

There are so many benefits for a company using name badges that it would be a shame to miss out on them out of fear of someone getting the person’s name and using it to learn more about them or track them down. This small gesture may not be one that most companies in Australia will need to do, but it’s an option for those companies that see it as a hurdle that needs to be crossed.