If your company happens to have constant turnover, you may have trouble trying to remember all the new names coming in after just having learned the names of those going out. While that fast of turnover might be a separate problem you’ll need to address, you may have to apply some memory skills for yourself and your staff so everyone can remember who’s who. It can be a little disconcerting for a new employee to be walking into the office and nobody remembering what their name is. That’s especially true if they’ve already been there for a couple of weeks and you still can’t get their name to stick in your mind.
The good news is that memory can always be reinforced through some basic exercises you can teach your staff. This is going to be vital if you want your company to have some cohesion in communicating with one another on a personal level.
One of the key elements to name recognition other than just repeating it multiple times (not necessarily recommended around the employee) is creating a mnemonic around the name. Associations are one of the supreme ways to memorize anything, even if some people get confused on how it works. Sometimes you have to let your own mind guide your to an association rather than forcing one. A name might just remind you of something random that you can think of and use to recall a name later.
This might become more complicated if you have various employees with the same name. In this case, you may want to use their last name for the word association, unless you’re unlucky enough to have three Bill Smiths working in your department.
Starting Journals for Name Reviews
After meeting dozens of new employees in a day, you’re going to have to get those names into your memory as quickly as possible. Other than the name associations, reviewing each name in a journal at the end of each day will help your brain make those mental associations much quicker. Write down each name you meet during the day without the employee necessarily seeing this to give away your memory tactic. You want to always give the feeling that you know everything about them and know their name by heart. If you don’t make this effort, necessary team communication could bring down a project you’re working on together.
Making Sure You Heard the Name Correctly
When you ask an employee to say their name, it’s possible you’ll mishear it if they talk overly low or without good diction. This can sometimes affect your ability to retain it to memory. So make sure you understand every name, including complicated ones with specific vowel pronunciations or other characteristics. With companies being more diverse ethnically now, there could be foreign names that will require more work on your part to learn properly and commit to memory. If you find it necessary, spell those names out phonetically in your name journal.
Using Their Name in Conversation
As I alluded to above, you don’t want to overdo stating someone’s name multiple times while conversing. This can come off as being slightly condescending in some people’s eyes, even if some superiors in companies still do it this way. Just stating their name when you say hello and when you say goodbye is enough without using their name in every sentence. Saying it as you part will also help give the facial recognition you want to associate with the name as well.
Despite the above memory tips, you’re bound to slip up once. Rather than blurt a name that’s completely wrong, merely ask an employee what their name is again. A wrong name you utter may give the impression the employee reminds you of someone else while diminishing the strong personalization edge you want to foster.