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What Did You Call Me?

A job title describes the role and status of the employee. It is a label that can be easily understood by others and is frequently used for comparative purposes. Basic considerations for job titles include:
  1. Are job titles necessary for your organization? People tend to act like whatever they are called. Job titles can be used as a weapon in the wrong hands as it could limit the employees' sense of duty, ownership, responsibility or engagement. As a result, when businesses need flexibility, as many start-ups do, job titles may not be helpful. At the very least, they should be as generic as possible to reduce constraints and enable collaboration.
  2. Where does the role fit within the overall company hierarchy? Matching the titles with decision making and perks is a good way to minimize the risk of unintended consequences, conflicts and enhance overall order. Hence, make sure that the title isn’t too big or too small for the duties of the role.
  3. What are the issues associated with being too generic or too specific? Focus and flexibility always need balancing. Job titles can be useful tools to promote either and should incorporate the needs of the situation.
Job titles can have wide-ranging implications and unintended consequences for decision making, collaboration and compensation expectation. A fundamental step in establishing a healthy organization is to contemplate the implications of the job titles you are assigning.

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