Let them change username - but with some consideration of the caveats below.
Permanent tagging with an id like usr12351 is so impersonal in a workplace - it shows a lack of humanity and kind of undermines and undervalues employees by representing them as a cold number rather than a person.
I am not a number ('The Prisoner' on Wikipedia)
Using an email, or even the part of the email before the @ symbol is better, but not always great as it's not always chosen by the user, but it's better than an id as suggested above.
In a workplace environment, you (or others in a similar situation) should consider such factors as the following:
- How formal is the workplace
- Are the usernames exposed to groups outside the workplace
- Does the employee need to be visually determinable from the username alone (without lookup required for 'Real Name')
For example, is it acceptable for an employee to choose a username such as always-drunk-on-fridays ? It's not great for a workplace ethic; indicates something of an attitude; wouldn't be desirable for exposure to clients or visitors, and does not visually identify the employee.
If you do give users carte blanche to create a username - you have to accept that maybe not 100% of employees may necessarily create desirable names for themselves.