Why ARE Employee titles important?
I love watching shows and reading on companies that have removed the barriers of titles for their employees and everyone shows up to work and gets it done. I am sure this is great for the common techie or worker but management roles and responsibilities must be dictated and distinguished, especially for profit companies that are wanting to ensure that there is a pilot at the controls, but employee titles are important. Sure having 300 or so worker drones milling about and pumping out ideas is great, but who are they going to give those ideas to? A group leader or speaker for the group? Then who will that speaker give the ideas to?
Point being that there will be someone eventually with a title that is meeting with management teams and directing how profits and ideals will be worked into the grand scheme of corporate probability. I am sorry to say even totted companies like Google and Yahoo have corporate minions that have titles like President, VP of Operations and such.
Role And Responsibility
Along with this need for titles in a company is the need to have the titles established with a properly formatted role and responsibility aligned with authority for that title. In my 20 plus years in the IT world I have personally been subject to the unclear or ill defined role and responsibility. Too often it was go over here and do what it takes to make the customer happy, I would ask “what is my contracted role and responsibility? ” and often times would be shooed away as if I was a puppy too close to the owners plate.
At a minimum a person should know what they are supposed to be doing as a baseline, then from that baseline performance and capability can be gauged. This is to be able to better align the individual within in the company, offer incentives, training or remediation for an individual within the corporation’s structure. Even the aforementioned drones need to have some sort of base relevancy and guidance within an organization, especially if that organization is performance driven or service oriented (or both).
When I hear that a company does not have titles, I think that somewhere along the line someone said that it would save money, as there is no need to have an extended HR if everyone is the same, and management was lack luster in their ability to manage and organize people within an organization. Somewhere there is someone with a title and established roles and responsibilities leading the charge.