Let's say you have 3 employees named "Jack Daniels".
How do you usually register them in ERP system, like email address for example?
I first thought about adding middle name initials but you can't guarantee they won't be the same. They could be even fully identical.

I'm from a country where it's really common to have fully identical names and we put numbers after their last names. It gets fun when the number goes over 100 with retired members and it's just not memorable at all.

Back to the English system, I don't think we'll have to worry about numbers going over 100 in English firms, but I still think numbering does really have a little rude and silly impressions when referring their names in documents.

How does your company deal with this problem?


4 Answers 4


The database differentiates between employees by the unique employee id number. The employee table also includes their legal name, nickname, DOB and may have something similar to a social security number. The legal name doesn't have to be unique. Just like the DOB and address don't have to be unique.

The email address is unique and generated automatically. It is typical to use numbers at the end. It is not unusual to have a policy to prevent reuse of old email addresses for different people.

This generally isn't a big issue to address even when the company has hundreds of thousands or even millions of employees.

  • 3
    It's worth noting that sometimes two employees with the same name are actually the same person - I left a company and re-joined a few years later and my old HR records were still their with my same full name, date of birth, address, govt numbers, etc. I got a new Employee ID in the HR system and life went on without any drama (although my new user account and email address used a common abbreviation of my first name).
    – mclayton
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 14:39

There is no single "Standard" way of doing this and it's up to the local HR and IT department to set the rules based on their needs and preferences.

The most common I've seen in the US is the add the middle initial. I've also seen cases where employees were allowed to use a nickname, for example "Richard" can be "Rich" or "Dick" or "Abigail" can be "Abby".

  • And some companies let folks pick their own user names and otherwise handle the conflict he same way like-named humans have been handling it ever since communities became large enough for the issue to arise...
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 14:47

Numbers are always good. I worked at one large place where they'd add a number to uniquely identify people. e.g JSMITH1, JSMITH2, JSMITH3 etc.; worked well enough.


Easiest way is to use job description, and location if necessary.

So something like [email protected], [email protected]

  • 1
    This sounds like a bad idea. People often change jobs and locations within a company, and having an email address that didn't match your current job and location would be even more confusing for everyone.
    – calum_b
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 11:39
  • You don't keep the email address if you leave, it belongs to the job. That way the next person has all the historical communications to reference if necessary. It works well
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 12:08
  • 3
    @Kilisi There are a lot of emails which aren't job related. You don't want your communications with HR or your manager to be visible to the next person taking your job. Nor do you want to see the funny cat pictures send to your predecessor.
    – Abigail
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 14:26
  • @Abigail it works fine for most places in my locale. Unsure why HR would communicate anything critical via email and no idea why you'd send pictures of a cat.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 19:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .