It's All In The Name -- Increased Employee Productivity is as Simple as Shared Initials

© alexskopje - Fotolia.com People work better together when they share a certain likeness, which can be as simple as their initials. A study from the University of Wisconsin found that people who share the same initials are better able to adapt to each other and have better productivity when working together in small groups. They call this the Name-Letter-Effect.

“People have a tendency to prefer things that remind them of themselves…Research shows that people’s choices are reliably influenced by the similarity between the letters of the choice and the chooser’s own name," said Dr. Evan Polman, co-author of the study. "For example, people are disproportionately likely to work at companies, buy stocks, donate to charities, hold stronger attitudes to brands, and prefer consumer products with names that begin with the letters of their own initials compared to other letters.”

The study agrees that there seems to be no logic in these findings -- that these shared initials shouldn't really play such a big role. However, it is certainly worth a try. Place employees with shared initials in a small team to work together on an project. Try the same for those with shared zodiac signs or birthdays. These tiny commonalities can lead us to feeling more comfortable around each other and make it easier for us to find the smallest of common grounds.