Would employees be more likely to apply for a a job as a “marketing brand manager,” or a “brand evangelist”?
Organisations seem to think that most people would choose the latter title. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that more and more organisations are trying to add more flavour to their job titles in a move designed to attract more job applicants and freshen a boring corporate image.
'Ninjas' and 'Rockstars'
Weird job titles are not new, especially in the technology sector. Roles such as “Chief Inspiration Officer” or “Chief Rockstar” have been around for almost a decade. But the practice seems to have spread around to other sectors such as OneAmerica, a financial-services firm, which just changed the job title of “data analyst” to “data wrangler.”
Todd Shock, the vice president of data and analytics at OneAmerica thinks that the change demonstrated to young applicants that the firm is innovative and risk-taking rather than boring and lame. He said “If I can put ‘data wrangler’ on a guy’s business card, and that’s what gets him here and excited, why not?”
Job titles affect employees
Workplace research finds that job title does play an important role in how employees feel about their work. Based on a 2014 study by a Wharton professor, researchers found that 85% employees of the Midwest chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation who received a new job title said they benefitted emotionally from the change.
The researchers wrote “Our findings highlight a novel, practical process that enables employees to play an active role in reducing their own emotional exhaustion … When leaders encourage employees to reflect on – and then reflect out – their unique value through personalized titles, employees are able to express their identities in ways that contribute to a sense of affirmation and psychological safety, reducing emotional exhaustion.”
In summary, a change in job title can affect how employees feel in their daily role.
WSJ also reported that a shoeshine company in Philadelphia now calls their employees “shine artists”, similar to how Subway calls their employees “Sandwich Artists”. According to the Wharton research, that could improve employees’ self-image as they see their work as interactive and creative rather than as bland labour.
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