Which of these name tags would cause you to be more likely to strike up a conversation with me? It’s turtles, isn’t it?
Tom told me about a time that he went to the Avis car rental office and the employee he worked with not only had his name on his name tag, but also his hometown. Tom struck up a conversation about this town, and left having made way more of a connection than normal for this type of exchange. This is awesome, because both people went away from an every day work experience having caused a smile, laugh, or good moment. Often, the people we interact with at work are just passing ships. But what are we missing by not knowing more about that person?
It doesn’t really take much to make one person feel connected to another, stranger or not. It just takes one thing in common. A name tag is a great place to take advantage of this fact. Everyone will most likely look at your name tag, so you may as well use it to give them a chance to engage with you on a deeper level. Having something extra on a name tag, a piece of flair, a cool t-shirt – all of these things give the impression that you are willing to talk about the piece of information you put out there. You are opening a door to anyone who runs into you to share a moment, without forcing a connection on them.
This got us thinking, how can schools leverage the “real estate” of the student employee name tag to increase engagement on their campus?
Some things a student employee could put underneath their name on a name tag:
- “Future [profession]”
- Residence Hall/Program
- Student Leadership role
- Other school specific preferences/titles/groups/etc.
What else would you add to a name tag that would really strike up a conversation with someone on your campus? The idea is to create a subtle way that a natural friendship could be made.
Don’t limit yourself to name tags! I bet there’s many other places you could personalize an every day object to foster more interactions at your campus.