June 12, 2013

What does your name tag say?

This week I have been staying at the Stamford Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, CT for some training and I just had to share this story with you!  I was making my way through the buffet line during the lunch break and I couldn't help but notice the name tag of the server standing beside me.  It said his name and underneath that it said Connected to: Social Work. I couldn't help myself - I had to ask!

What does your name tag mean?
Not the real name tag! Source: SheratonCommunity.com

Well, this older gentleman's face lit up like a firecracker and he told me all about the volunteer work that he does with the local immigrant services organization.  He helps people who are new to the US figure out how to manage their new life.  He told me that he benefited from this help when he immigrated and he wanted to give back to the organization that helped him by helping others.  WOW!  Did he have pride in his story!  He stood up straighter, he grinned from ear to ear and he emanated warmth and kindness as he spoke about what was obviously very meaningful to him.  It was so heart-felt and touching to have this interaction with this man.  (I asked to take his photo but he was quite shy about it and declined, he did give me permission to tell his story though when I told him I wanted to write a blog post about him!)

So, I have to give kudos to Sheraton Hotels for encouraging people to bring their whole self to work!  Every employee has something on their name tag that means something to them beyond their job - I asked a few other employees and they all reacted in the same way - they loved that they were asked, they lit up when they told their story and they left the conversation smiling from being able to share what is meaningful to them.  Powerful stuff!

Locally for me, which is in Victoria, BC, Canada, I know of another hotel that does this very well - Accent Inns.  They have also revolutionized the use of name tags.  Just as Mandy Farmer, CEO - I mean, Bike Lover!

I believe strongly that employees want to bring everything that are and everything that they believe to their work - and this is one small step towards encouraging employees to do this!  Very cool!

Of course, I also have to ask you - what does your name tag mean?