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  • Writer's pictureVincent Marsland

Office Nicknames Done Right

Recently, thanks in part to the Covid-19 quarantine I’ve been re-watching the Rocky octilogy and an idea for team engagement started to form in my mind. You see, boxers, like many professional athletes tend to have nicknames. For example, Apollo Creed (a prominant character and boxer from Rocky 1-4) has a number of nicknames which are used to introduce him prior to every fight. “The Count of Monte Fisto”, “The King of Sting”, “The Master of Disaster” amongst others. This got me wondering...could we incorporate fun and unique titles such as these into the workplace in a way that not only reflects upon the individual, but adds to engagement.

Many workplaces have started using team development tools such as Clifton’s StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs, or one of the other plethora of self discovery tests on the market. These lead towards some initial self discovery and occasionally an "ah-ha!" moment typically followed by the results being lost amongst the other work documents quickly. What if we as leaders in the organisation could do more with the results?

I propose that, if your team or organisation has the right kind of culture to implement it, you could in turn take the results from a test such as StrengthsFinder and utilize them to come up with fun nicknames for your team members which incorporate the results. For example, I looked up my old StrengthsFinder results and I received, futuristic, strategic, ideation, activator, and input in that order. As such one of my Rocky/boxing inspired nicknames could be something to the effect of, Vincent “the Future Finder” Marsland.

From there you could easily incorporate the nicknames your teams come up with into presentations, meetings, and even internal communications. Anything, that your team is keen upon doing in the spirit of cohesion and fun. Not only will it get them to actually take action on their test results, but it will aide team cohesion and make teamembers feel unique and valued.

We live in a time of extreme competitiveness between businesses with increasingly difficult KPIs and quarterly targets that need achieving. There is strong evidence that workplace satisfaction leads towards greater results. For example, this Forbes article which shows a 20% increase in productivity and a 37% increase in sales amongst happy employees over dissatisfied ones, let alone the cost reductions in needing to hire and train replacements due to high churn. With potential increases in productivity of that level, is it not worth trying anything that anything that can keep members of your company happy?

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