Work ID Badges: Forgotten, Lost, or Just Ignored?

How to Better the Odds of Compliance, Quit Hearing “Oops, I lost my work badge”, and Win at the Work ID Badge Game

If you’re in charge of ID badges at your company, one thing’s for sure: lost or forgotten work badges are a pain in the neck. Missing badges pose a security risk and cost time and money to replace.

Consider the employee who’s forgotten his badge. You may feel justified in greeting these hapless offenders with a cold shoulder. After all, you’ve seen the pattern many times: They forget their badge one day, then another, followed by a flat-out loss after that. (Count on their eyes being closed in the badge photos as well.) What’s more, they forget to return loaner badges in a timely fashion. Any sighting of them in the office conjures up an “I lost my work badge again” flashback in your mind. These jokers generally introduce mayhem into any work ID necklace, holder, and badge system.

So, how to stem the tide of work ID badge chaos? As it turns out, a bit of compassion is in order here. The hard cold fact is that ID badges just don’t work for everyone. For some, the ID badge is just another thing to keep track of, another annoying layer of the corporate uniform that’s begging to be shed at every turn.

With this in mind, we submit that the first order of business in achieving a respectable badge-wearing success rate is a wearer-centric approach. The answer is…


We know it’s a work ID badge, not a scarf, hair cut or belt buckle. But if you want your employees to wear it like an appendage every waking moment of the day, it would stand to reason that a little wiggle room in terms of look and feel might be in order.

Different strokes for different folks. Chicken or fish. Coffee or tea. Paper or plastic. People like to choose. So when it comes to the work ID badge, let your wearers have some say in how they rock it. Consider the following:


Lanyards are the tried, true, and can’t-be-missed badge display:

ID badge as fashion statement, ooh la la!

ID badge with a natural vibe

Classic, get ‘er done lanyard style

Dual-function for the tech-obsessed

Retractable Badge Reels

For a lower profile badge display, consider retractable badge reels like these:

Attach the Badge to Something More Valuable

For a work ID badge that will stay as close to your employee as their smartphone (that’s close!), check out this phone wallet badge holder:

This pocket wallet badge holder allows you to bundle the ID badge with must-have items like cash and credit cards:

For other options check out our custom lanyards and badges.

Lost-My-Work-Badge Badge

Now that you have a plethora of work ID badge possibilities to keep your employees engaged and interested, it’s time to address the inevitable: how to handle those rascals who can’t keep track of their badge no matter what.

First, be kind. We’ve all lost a library book or forgotten to feed the fish…. So if possible, no stink eye. Instead, when you supply a temp badge, make sure it’s not pretty! No bling-laden lanyards or faux-leather badge wallets here. No sirree. The temporary badge must inspire action in your employee, a longing, if you will, to return to the good old days of retractable reels and USB cord lanyards. Give your employee an incentive to straighten out and fly right.

Finally, whether they locate their missing badge or are issued a new one, ask them to consider whether a different style might suit their lifestyle better. Maybe the work ID badge necklace chapter is coming to a close, and the badge on cell phone chapter is ready to be ushered in.

Offering different badge-wearing options will increase the odds that your employees will keep their work ID badges on hand, allowing you to spend less time replacing them and growling (justifiably, mind you!) under your breath.

Karleen A.

I’m a copywriter who likes custom giveaways of all kinds, from pens to travel mugs, tumblers to totes. Fun for me is helping promote YOUR awesome brand!

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Karleen A.

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