Humorous Motivational Keynote Speaker Chicago

Employee Engagement Ideas that Work: #3 of 5

#3: Address Work Colleagues with their Name



Determining the best employee engagement ideas to build a better culture and improving retention is not an easy task. However each of these five employee engagement ideas I provide in this series will help you create a better workplace and improve employee retention and engagement, provided – you act on them.


Each tip provides an element of the acronym CHAPS. The CHAPS concept suggests five simple Micro-Goals that you can achieve every day that will develop a better level of employee engagement and ultimately improved employee retention. These are actionable activities that will address what is often referred to as the great resignation.


You can’t improve Employees’ Net Worth. You CAN Improve Self Worth.

My core belief as an employee engagement speaker and consultant is that most managers / leaders cannot significantly impact employees net worth, but literally everyone – managers / leaders / co-workers CAN substantially impact the self worth of employees, direct reports and peers.

Briefly, the  CHAPS Micro-Goals relate to: 

Compliment one person today. (SEE Employee Engagement article on The Power of a Compliment).

Hear ‘Thank You’  (SEE Employee Engagement Ideas # 2) 

Address colleagues / customers with their name 

Positive words create positive impact 

Smile – as in, Put a smile on someone’s face. 


In this article, we look at Micro-Goal #3. As indicated in previous articles, while you may be practicing some of the elements of CHAPS, the important thing is to set these employee engagement ideas as Micro-Goals.

The reason for setting them as Micro-Goals, is that we do feel better when we achieve a goal. This occurs because the brain releases dopamine – the feel good chemical – when we achieve a goal. So, let’s look at the next goal to enhance employee retention and get rid of that dreaded “Great Resignation.”


Micro-Goal #3 for Employee Engagement and Retention: Address Colleagues / Customers with their name 


Unless your name is Bob, it is quite likely that your name has been mis-spelled at some stage. “Everyone” gets slightly irked when their name is spelled incorrectly or they are address with the wrong name.

 (Don’t get me started on the number of people who spell “Conor” incorrectly. I mean it is only five letters! Apparently, my parents could not afford to put two ‘n’s in “Conor” back in Ireland!)

Why do we get annoyed when we are not addressed properly?

I would argue that the most impactful word in the vocabulary of the person who is speaking to you is your name. The most impactful word you can use when speaking to an employee or work colleague is their name.

We have all been in a situation where we have no idea of what is being said at the other side of a room until someone mentions your name. Suddenly your ears perk up, but not the ears of anyone else! Why? Because there are few things more personal and impactful to us than our name.

Assuming that you buy in to the CHAPS concept and the power of Micro-Goals, let’s look at what will happen when you address someone with their name when in conversation.

 First of all, you’re going to hear yourself use the person’s name, realize you have achieved a powerful and effective Micro-Goal. The Dopamine kicks in and you feel better about yourself. AND the person you are speaking to? That person will feel a stronger, more visceral connection to you simply because you used the most impactful word for them.  This simple activity will to a long way to enhancing a co-worker’s self-worth. When you improve a co-workers self worth, that person is going to feel more motivated and productive.

A more motivated and productive person is a more engaged person. The more engaged your team and workforce is, the better your employee retention numbers will be.

Five Employee Engagement Ideas! An Exercise

Here’s a simple exercise for you. Next time you go to the supermarket at the weekend, it is quite likely that a young kid from the local high school will be on the checkout desk. When you bring your groceries to the checkout, say “Hi, Bob,” (Note, this assumes his name is Bob! Do check the name on his / her badge and address with correct name. It really does helpl!)

What’s Bob’s reaction? Initially, surprise as he wonders how do you know his name (forgetting the badge he wears.)

Next though, he will pay more attention to you, maybe even involve in discussion, happily pack your bags and wish you a good day as you walk away, proving the effectiveness of addressing people with their name.

Try it. One of five simple employee engagement ideas to help you build a better, happier workplace.



Conor speaking about employee engagement ideas that work

Conor speaking about employee engagement ideas that work


More articles on Employee Engagement, Culture and Employee Retention

Employee Engagement Tips – A brief primer on CHAPS

See: Reviews of Employee Engagement Software

Amazon Books on Employee Engagement