The Power of a Job Title

What’s in a name? It turns out, quite a lot! 

For an organization to function properly, the positions within the organization have to be named. Job titles are a designation – an expression of the intention for the role. They have the power to determine how someone behaves as well as how they are treated by others, both internally and externally. But how often do you stop to consider whether the names that you’ve assigned truly reflect your organizational intentions? 

Whether you’re a big organization or a solo entrepreneur, take a moment to consider the job titles that you’re using and what kind of an impact they are making. Here are three things to keep in mind when intentionally selecting job titles: 

Clearly Define the Role 

A good job title should clearly outline what the person in that position actually does. You don’t want it to be misleading. I remember going to a place once called Turtle Beach only to discover there hadn’t been turtles on the beach for over fifty years. That, my friends, is an example of a misleading title. I wanted to see turtles! 

Sometimes we are so involved in the day-to-day that we don’t realize that certain positions have evolved to entail something different than what they originally were, or maybe they didn’t quite line up with their job title even from the beginning. This is a great opportunity to call in some fresh eyes! Buy a friend or colleague some coffee and ask them about the job titles that you have given yourself and your team. Do they know what the position does? Make sure that the job titles you are selecting clearly define the role.

Inspire Customer Confidence 

The other day I went into an Apple store. The technological issues I was having were beyond my understanding, and I needed help. When I walked into the Apple store and saw that their tech support is named Genius, I was 100% sure they would have the answers that I was looking for. 

This is a great example of how a name, or job title, can inspire confidence. We want our customers to feel confident in working with us. We want our team to feel confident in what they are offering. 

Highlight the Strengths of an Individual 

It’s huge progress to clarify what a job title should be in reference to the work that is meant to be done. But don’t forget to put People First. Job titles should accurately reflect the work that is being done and the person that is doing the work. Each person on your team has particular strengths and skills that you may not have thought were a part of the position when you hired them, but if your job title leaves room for that person to use their strengths in their position, amazing things will happen. 

Job titles are powerful. They can create clarity or breed confusion; they can inspire action or annoy. 

What do your job titles do? 

When you choose to be intentional about what you say and how you say it, you can create a new world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

About Amy Lafko

As a Physical Therapist, Amy spent years in school learning best practices for patient care and how to put the patient first. Like so many technically skilled clinicians, she advanced to a leadership role. Spending 20+ years in operational leadership, she had an epiphany: Putting the customer first isn’t the path to success or fulfillment. Rather, the most successful organizations and practices put their people first – and exceptional customer care, profitability, and effectiveness naturally followed.