Question: Should my employees wear ID badges?

Post image for Question: Should my employees wear ID badges?

by Tom Watson on March 9, 2014

ID badges used to be thought of only when thinking of big national type companies. The phone company, the gas company and the cable guy come to mind instantly for me growing up.

Times have changed for a variety of reasons. Safety goes to the top of the list first, then the cost of having them made is extremely cheap nowadays not to mention it’s a great way to differentiate your cleaning company. Odds are your “competition” doesn’t use them at all.

ID badges. Good idea or waste of money?

My opinion is that ID badges are well worth the cost and effort required to implement their use. Third party companies can make them for you at a very affordable price point. Though I have no affiliation whatsoever with this company, I’ve heard about FulliDentity. They currently sell them for $12 and up.

The real beauty of using ID badges is that it gives you the opportunity to stake out a difference between you and your competition. Imagine talking to a prospective client and being able to throw in the fact that everyone who works for you has a clearly visible ID badge on at all times. Subtle but POWERFUL at the same time!

The other benefit I mentioned earlier is “safety”. When I said that it wasn’t for your safety, but for those you work for (it gives them PEACE OF MIND). Generally speaking when you enter someone else’s work environment they have no clue as to who you are. Over time they’ll discover who you are, but not at first.

How having an ID badge helped me!

We just ran into a situation the other week were we were visiting a cleaning account of ours, it was a doctor’s office. We have a special key fob that gets us in the back door. When you enter that door it places you right in the middle of where all the employees work. We’ve entered that door a million times.

This one time however we ran into a new employee that was just hired. She was leaving for the night as the last one out and ran right into us as we were entering the door. I could tell she was startled and quite uncomfortable. From her perspective, she never seen me in her entire life and here I was walking in!

Added to the fact it was dark out and she had just turned off the lights. Luckily I was able to think quickly and grab the ID badge around my neck and tell her that I was with the cleaning company and we were here to clean the facility. She glanced at my badge and instantly felt better. That badge was money well spent!

I’ll wrap this up by suggesting you consider getting ID badges for your cleaning company. They are cost effective, they make for a good selling point and they help put people at ease when you run into those who have no idea who you are. If anyone has any stories of their own, share them in the comments below!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sekita March 9, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Hi Tom
Great post just ordered name tags for myself and husband as we are management. Also ordered name badges for employees do you feel they need to have photos or would it be ok to use the name badges with company name, logo, and employee name?

2 Tom Watson March 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Thanks Sekita! I do think pictures are best, as they allow for better identification as far as the client is concerned. With that said, if you already ordered them, just make use of them for now and upgrade down the road (no use wasting money reordering them).

3 Andrew Sparklean March 10, 2014 at 1:37 am

Thanks Tom. As always you nail it and in the process help us. I have just ordered for name badges for both management and employees, way before I read your post and your thoughts have validated my action. My supplier was kind enough to give me discounted rates on a branded lanyard to reinforce our brand visibility. Photos are a must I think…especially from a security angle, especially in these uncertain times. A small cleaning company in Nairobi, Kenya treasures your posts, podcasts and comments. Keep up the good work.

4 Tom Watson March 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

Hi Andrew! I like the branded lanyard idea, that’s very professional (which is also a nice benefit). I agree on the photos, for a little extra it makes a huge difference. And THANKS for the kind words (much appreciated!).

5 marc March 10, 2014 at 10:27 am

name badges are a good idea, I have used them in the past – but employees hate to wear them, bothers them on their uniform or they end up leaving it in the van.

6 Tom Watson March 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

Hi Marc! I agree, not everyone likes them. When I first started I ran into the same issues. My approach took some time, but it revolved around hiring “good attitudes”. Happier type people roll with the rules, while the disgruntled types don’t want any restrictions (which often gets them in trouble with supervisors).

I also “educated” my staff (They either wore the badges to enter every worksite, or they wouldn’t work for me). My education to the staff boiled down to this: I sold our business to customers partly on the “ID badge concept” (Customers tend to like the idea of badged cleaning employees!). So when people didn’t comply, that made me look like I was not keeping my word (which is NOT what I wanted).

Anyway… I feel your pain! I’ve been there and know EXACTLY what it feels like to try to do the right thing but get derailed by a few folks who worked for me. At the end of the day it all comes down to hiring the right people, as that makes ALL the difference.

7 Curtis March 11, 2014 at 12:23 am

How do you suggest employees wear them? A lanyard could be a a work hazard and also get in the way.

Also, what are your thoughts on dress code. Currently I have embroidered t shirts but no real direction on what to wear for shoes, pants, etc. No hats obviously.

Thanks Tom.

8 Tom Watson March 11, 2014 at 10:22 am

Hi Curtis! You could have them tuck them in under their shirt after they start working (they do have the break-away style lanyards and clip on type badges too). I just had the shirts made up and didn’t worry about the other items. I always tried to make it as “easy as possible” to work for me.

9 jeremy December 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm


I know this post is pretty old. But has anyone found a solid website to get badges made that doesn’t need a minimum order. I just need two made until i hire more employees.


10 Tom Watson December 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Hi Jeremy! I don’t know about this company, but I found them online. It may be what you are looking for…

11 johnny February 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Great article!

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