Is your name frequently mispronounced at work? Or do you sometimes struggle to pronounce colleagues' names and are too embarrassed to ask for the correct pronunciation?
Correct name pronunciation can be challenging. Yet in the workplace, it is especially important both as a key part of individual employee identity and in helping employers increase inclusivity.
It’s time to be practical, proactive and professional about overcoming these problems and start promoting correct name pronunciation.
Why is correct name pronunciation important?
- Names are key to who we are - our personal identity
- Correct name pronunciation shows respect
- Correct name pronunciation encourages inclusion
- Mispronunciation can cause embarrassment, alienation and offence
Joseph Aninakwa, inclusion and diversity consultant at Inclusive Employers provides a useful definition of name pronunciation:
“Name pronunciation is simply being able to pronounce a person’s first and last name as they would prefer it to be pronounced in its original intended form. This means without deviating or shortening for ease.”
What are the benefits of correct name pronunciation in the workplace?
With the often complex relationships between colleagues, customers and other business contacts, correct name pronunciation can:
- Create a more relaxed working environment
- Create an inclusive and relaxed workplace
- Help recruit and retain staff
- Improve customer interaction
- Boost brand image and commercial performance
- Demonstrate compliance
How can employers promote name pronunciation organisation-wide?
To promote correct name pronunciation, employers should:
- Champion it from the top
- Make it an HR priority
- Include it in training
- Use internal marketing
- Add it to social profiles
- Include it in email signatures
This is helped by more and more technology platforms - including social media, messaging services and email signatures - having the functionality to add phonetic spelling and audio pronunciation of names.
Including name pronunciation in email signatures
Adding name pronunciation to email signatures is an easy, effective way to promote correct name pronunciation amongst colleagues, customers and contacts - especially when you consider that email is the most used business communication channel.
Rocketseed has created a guide on the importance of getting name pronunciation correct in the workplace, full of practical tips to promote correct name pronunciation amongst colleagues and achieve the benefits of an inclusive work environment. It also includes a handy guide on how to spell your name phonetically and add your name pronunciation to your email signature.
Everyone deserves to have their name pronounced correctly, and feel included and supported. Adding name pronunciation to email signatures is an easy way to make a big difference in company inclusivity. If you want to find out more about adding name pronunciation to your business email signatures, make sure to read our guide and contact Rocketseed if you’d like to know how we can help.