new role in housing at uWaterloo where I would be responsible for 100 full-time staff and 200+ student staff I'll admit I was a little concerned with how I was going to remember everyone. Fortunately a solution was already in place.
Long before I arrived one of the housing staff, I believe one of the cleaning staff, suggested all of the full-time staff should wear name tags. Obviously a simple solution. Smart too. Yet few staff in higher education have adopted name tags. The result is missed opportunities.
One obvious missed opportunity is the barrier to strike up a conversation with a colleague. Another is making higher education a little easier for our students. Staff or students who can identify (other) staff and then address them by name will be that much more comfortable and more likely to engage in conversation. For new students this can be invaluable. I've been stopped by random people - students, parents and staff - walking round the uW campus over the past couple of weeks likely in large part because I'm wearing a name tag. While I have not always had the answer people have engaged with me at a time they needed assistance. Student affairs staff are known to be helpful and often identify strongly with qualities related to helping others. Wearing name tags will help us help others even more.