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I read recently that 15% of people are called something they don’t like at work – and this (needless to say upsets them.). Okay so you think that I’m stating the obvious…. but knowing people, starts at the very basics. And if employees are the new customers – and we spend a fortune on CRM systems – what do we do about managing our employee relationships – do we have ERM systems?

For each of us, we cannot help it – but our name has a sweet sound to it. We like it.

Years ago at Ansett one task, I was to arrange a staff gift. I presented a baggage tag – it was beautiful, aluminium with a little leather strap. On one side it was screen printed – “You can’t have the greatest airline in the world without the greatest people,” on the other their name was engraved. At the time there was not HR department, it was called Personnel, but I thought I would go to payroll to get the names of the people that worked at the airline – they gave me a list, I had the tags engraved, and out they went.

Then they started coming back….People sent back notes with them – ‘You still can’t spell my name correctly – you never have’, ‘she hasn’t worked here for years’, or even ‘that is my first name I always use my second name’, ‘Only my mother calls me that when I am in trouble’.

I was really clear – how could you say that your people are your greatest asset (You can’t have the greatest airline in the world without the greatest people.) when you don’t even know who works there, nor how to spell their name.

It might sound basic – but getting the name right is a start.

(PS – there is no ‘p’ in Simson)

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