What has a Job Title got to do with performance?
One of the most common factors we come across when we start a new project is that job title and job descriptions within the organisation do not match the job that is required. Why don’t things get done? Because “it’s not in my job description”.
Primarily because of promotions, job titles have been inherited over many years from person to newly promoted person, without thought or review. The; What, How and Why at the core of the role has been ingrained and passed on, notably if the person in the position received a promotion.
Let us start by looking at job titles; specifically the label of “Manager.” According to the Oxford English dictionary, a manager is “A person responsible for controlling or administering an organisation or group of staff”.
The train of thought that performance improvement is an implied task within the title deserves a few lines. When we are invited in to assist in a performance improvement project, we are almost always required to start by convincing the “managers” that performance improvement is a good thing and they should focus on making things better as opposed to “managing” the status quo. Experience has taught us that if we do not carry out this step, internal systems and “management” will make our task harder. This is not always deliberate, but it will happen.
If a Job Title were different would it make a difference?
Without going into the “nuts and bolts” of how to implement a successful change programme; cash flow management; employment law,; leadership and the psychology of change; there is one place senior management might consider a start. That is to change job titles.
In changing job titles across an organisation, for example, “Customer Service Manager” to “Business Improvement Manager – Customer services”, or “Business Improvement Manager – Engineering” to Business Improvement Manager – Sales”, etc, you might just start a conversation within your team. This could ignite a cultural shift to a performance improvement culture, without creating too many waves.
Just a thought.
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