Employee badges comprise a system of identification of employees inside and outside the business.
Types of badges
Access badges: they may use different technologies such as magnetic stripe, proximity, barcode, smart cards and various biometric devices.
Smart badges: nowadays including a bar code and even GPS location, these badges are becoming more and more used in different sectors, from health care to education, by private and public companies.
Uses of employee badges
Access: one of the most common use, the badge ensures access and control on company premises at specific entry points.
Identification of the personnel: although less common nowadays, this role was significant in order to offer the employee a sense of belonging to a certain company or institution. It used to simply mark the name and photo of the employee.
Storage: the badges with smart card technology incorporated allow companies to store important information on employee ID badges. Therefore the use has expanded to time and attendance tracking through GPS location, but also access control for computers and company networks.
Electronic wallets: in some organization, badges are used as electronica wallets to store amounts of money or points that can be used on the premises, such as the cafeteria, souvenir shops or vending machines.
Benefits to using employee badges
Saving time: instead of using time cards, employees only need to swipe their ID badges at the security checkpoint card reader located on the premises. In this way, instead of operating two different systems, they can complement each other.
Discounts: employee badges may allow discounts to local restaurants and businesses. In case this system is not set in place, the employer may negotiate group discounts if a certain number of employees are interested.
Disadvantages to multiple-use badges
Susceptible to errors: as most badges rely on computer software, if the latter breaks down or is not responding, the connecting systems (time tracking or electronic wallet) may also be unavailable.
Susceptible to glitches/hacking: although less common, the software may be overtaken intentionally in order to diffuse funds for example, making it less reliable than the traditional access badges.
A well implemented system of employee badges can increase productivity, security and visual identification of employees, therefore it is worth investing in it as a business. Enforcement of rules regarding badges should be done in an efficient and friendly manner, by trying to create the feeling of belonging for the employee.