Employee ID badges are increasingly important for businesses in every type of industry — regardless of that company’s size. While the name implies that they’re designed to identify employees, ID badges in the workplace are the ultimate multitaskers and, beneath that laminated surface, they’re actually doing so much more.
For starters, employee ID badges help improve security by letting others know whether or not an individual belongs in the building. You can use visitor ID badges to allow nonemployee access to specific parts of the building, but an employee ID badge with a name and photo prominently displayed will go a long way toward recognizing who belongs there — and helping security identify and remove those who don’t. (That can also help cut down on cases of individuals trying to impersonate employees, which can lead to theft and other workplace issues.)
Integrating access control features into your badges allows you to restrict access to employees during certain hours and make sure that certain areas are off limits to anyone who doesn’t have the proper credentials. These measures help reduce risk to your properties and to employees themselves.
ID badges serve other purposes as well. They help employees feel more familiar to customers and, if you have a large company, they also can help workers remember colleagues' names. That’s particularly true in a hospital environment, where everyone from a lab tech to a nurse to a doctor is wearing scrubs. When everyone wears an ID badge that states their name and job title, it’s much easier for patients and their family members to know who’s who.
In addition to these benefits, well-designed ID badges add an extra level of professionalism to your work environment and can help reinforce your company’s branding initiatives.
5 Steps to Implementing an Employee ID Badge Policy
Determining that it’s time to start a companywide ID badge policy is one thing; implementing and enforcing it may be another. Even though you know it can benefit your company, employees might not be as excited to jump on board. It’s not something you want to spring on workers overnight; instead, work with your company’s management team to create a strategy for implementation. This will help make sure it goes smoothly and gets the best amount of compliance. Let’s look at five steps you can take to make sure your policy implementation goes well.
1. Start at the Top
First, you have to get the company leaders on board, because if they’re not going to follow the new policy, you’ll have a difficult time getting employee compliance. Outline the benefits of implementing a policy and explain your plan for how the policy will be implemented and enforced; also have a plan for managing employees who don’t want to comply.
2. Keep Managers Involved
Once you have buy-in at the top, meet with managers and talk about the reasons for the new policy; it may help to emphasize how it will enhance security and improve operations. Encourage them to ask any questions or raise concerns so you can address those head-on, as they may have some of the same questions as their employees. When you have a proposed design of your badge, send it to managers via email to review. Get their input on its appearance and listen to feedback that might be useful.
3. Talk About the Challenges
What kinds of challenges might you face while implementing the policy? For example, are there any employees whose safety might be compromised by wearing the badges as proposed? This could happen in cases where the policy requires workers to wear ID badges on a lanyard, but some employees would be at risk of their lanyard being caught on equipment or machinery. In these cases, you’d want to look at alternative ways to secure the badge, such as a badge clip or reel.
4. Create a Plan to Inform All Employees
Decide how you’re going to tell employees about the new policy. Will it be at a company meeting? Through email? An announcement posted on the bulletin board in the break room? Whichever method you choose, make sure it’s going to be seen by all employees. Then, have managers follow up by holding meetings within their group to explain why it’s so important — and to allow employees to ask questions.
5. Set the Date
Decide which day the new policy goes into effect, and make sure that you send out regular reminders to managers. Managers should set the tone for enforcement by wearing their badges, and you might even have them start wearing their ID badges a day or two before the policy officially goes into effect.
How to Enforce Your New Company ID Badge Policy
In a perfect world, every employee would happily put on their badge and you’d have 100% compliance, every day, beginning on Day One. But chances are, if you’re implementing a new policy, that’s not how it’s going to play out.
Before you put your company ID badge policy into effect, you’ll need to create a plan for how you’re going to enforce the policy, and that means having consequences for noncompliance. Employees need to be aware that this is not optional, and they are required to wear their badges.
Give them a couple of weeks to get used to wearing badges every day, and expect that there will likely be incidents of workers forgetting to wear their badges in the beginning. During this adjustment period, all that’s required is a reminder that they need to wear their badges.
However, after three or four weeks, if employees still aren’t wearing their ID badges, you can send out an email warning that noncompliant employees will be subject to disciplinary actions, which could start with a written warning. This is also a good time to remind employees of why the badges are important.
If compliance is still an issue, you may need to call the employee in for a private meeting. You can ask why they aren’t being compliant and explain again the purpose of implementing the ID badge policy. This is also a good time to explain additional consequences if they refuse to comply.
The right company ID badge has a number of important benefits; making sure that you implement it with a well-planned strategy can help ensure its success.