During the HR Technology Conference, I was chatting with someone about job titles. She had heard the most interesting title – Vice President of Employee Success. It didn’t sit well with me then and the more I think about it…it still doesn’t. My apologies if this is your job title, but I do have to take exception to this one.
When a person has the job title Vice President of Employee Success, that takes responsibility for achieving success away from:
1) The organization
2) The managers, and most importantly
3) The employees.
Creating an engaging and productive workplace is everyone’s job. It’s not just one person’s job. Or one department’s job.
Now someone might say – hey, it’s just a job title. No big deal. But think about it – what’s the purpose of a job title? It’s to market our responsibilities – whether that’s internally or externally. If titles were really “no big deal” then why have them in the first place? I can buy into the idea that titles might not matter much inside the organization, but externally, they do matter.
Especially in recruiting. Let’s say I’m applying for a job and scheduled to interview with the Vice President of Employee Success. Does that mean this person is going to help me become successful? They don’t even know what success means to me. What if they can’t help me become successful? Can I hold them accountable for failing? There are just way too many questions.
I get it. Organizations want their employees to understand that they are vested in the employee’s success. The way to achieve that is by hiring great people, giving them the right tools, offering good benefits and competitive compensation, rewarding and recognizing excellent work, and providing them with future opportunities. It’s not by creating an Employee Success Department. Actions speak louder than words, or in this case, job titles.
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Job titles should tell the world what you are responsible for. More importantly, they should reflect what you are held accountable for. It shouldn’t be “Employee Success”. Because you know who should be responsible for employee success? That’s right – the employee! Everyone else is responsible for helping, coaching, supporting, advising, etc.
Employees need to own their success. They defined their own version of success. They worked hard to achieve their success. Don’t minimize it with a job title that gives employee success to someone else.
Image Courtesy of My French Country Home1