I was reminded of this again recently during a class when the students exchanged cards and one student didn’t have them – the company didn’t provide them. Now yes, I think professionals should have cards and if your employer doesn’t provide them (and maybe even if they do), it’s a really good idea to have cards made. Lots of places on the internet that will print vanilla cards and deliver for $20 or so. Get 250 cards unless you’re a serious networker.
But, back to the employer side of things. What message does it send to your team if you’re not willing to spend $20-$50 on them so that when they go to a meeting, class, or conference, they can share who they are, and share that they work for you? Let’s say the average DBA/Developer/IT Pro costs $75k a year in salary. Would you not hire them if they asked for $75k + business cards, putting their cost at $75,020?
I know this seems like a little thing, but giving employees cards gives them a deeper sense of ownership, a sense that the company values their contribution even if they toil away in the back room. And if they get promoted, make sure you give them cards that reflect the new title!