5 Reasons to get rid of traditional job titles
By Ella Wilson
We strive for them. We fight for them. We loathe them and long for them. But have you ever considered that maybe we don’t need them at all? A new wave of businesses are getting rid of traditional job titles in favor of off-the-wall descriptors their employees love (and internet articles love to espouse upon). Here are five reasons companies are dropping traditional job titles.
Titles box people in
Telling someone what you want them to do – and telling them what you don’t want them to do – are two sides of the same coin. While traditional job titles tell people what they are responsible for, they also subconsciously tell them what they DO NOT need to care about.
In essence, a traditional job title may keep your people from reaching beyond the limits of their roles and into new and interesting territory. Consider the difference between what you’d think a “graphic designer” does and what a “chief sensation engineer” might do. A graphic designer would only design a landing page for a product, but a chief sensation engineer might design the landing page AND create a game to go on it AND think up a killer popup to add – because they are no longer only in charge of design, but have the freedom to get creative and use all their talents to connect with end users.
Titles are rarely accurate
If someone asked you what you do, you’d probably tell them what your job title is. But if they say “What do you do all day?” you’d probably tell them a million different things that have nothing to do with the words on your business card. What’s the purpose of a title if it doesn’t even accurately describe the job?
Traditional job titles hierarchy (in a bad way)
Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never changes. Job titles, in addition to telling employees their roles, also remind them where they stand in the scheme of things. Which, if you’re not a top dog, can be demotivating.
This article in Blinkist talks about how the company abolished job titles altogether, which resulted in a huge jump in productivity and employee satisfaction.
“At Blinkist, we abolished job titles and switched to a new way of defining accountabilities and getting work done. It resulted in a huge increase in productivity, greater employee satisfaction, and even shipping a previously dauntingly huge product in a matter of weeks.”
Job titles promote individual achievement over group advancement
Humans are programmed to care more about their own group than others. It’s a survival instinct. So when your employees are separated into “groups” by job title, they will naturally invest more into own achievements than the company as a whole.
We all want to be seen as special and useful, and forgoing job titles won’t take that out of the equation entirely. But dropping traditional job titles is one way to bring more focus back to the company, motivating employees to give more of their heart to the company, instead of trying to get noticed on their own.
Job titles enforce the idea that position is more important than expertise
Who would you rather have perform surgery on you in an emergency? Dr. Bellini, or Nurse Rose? If you said Dr. Bellini, you’d be dead right now. Because Dr. Bellini is a doctor of piano, but Rose is an ER nurse that’s assisted in thousands of high-risk emergency surgeries.
Titles make us think people are better (or worse) at their jobs than they may actually be. Just because someone has a more prestigious job title does not necessarily mean they have more knowledge or wisdom than someone at a lower level.
By abolishing job titles, your top brass can no longer let their egos get in the way of their work, and your lowest members on the totem pole can feel free to show off their knowledge and expertise – both of which are powerful productivity boosters for your business.
Abolishing traditional job titles is just one way to increase employee happiness and productivity at your company. Need more help streamlining your business processes? We’d love to help. Get started today with a free 1-hour consult by giving us a call at 877-236-9094 or visiting our website at www.GetUWired.com.