In today's era of ruthless competition and continuous innovation, people don't want stodgy, confining job titles. Rather than calling employees by a traditional moniker, many leading companies opt to use more playful titles for their employees. This energizes team members. Because we're in a creative economy, your people are your differentiation - if you want them to think outside the box, why should they have an "in the box" title?
As we wind down the year, annual reviews are upon us. Think through your meetings with employees who deserve some added recognition. A potential perk for these team members could be a change in title to something with a bit more personality. Even better? Be like Method (the cool cleaning products company), and let the person choose her own title.
Additionally, this change in titling will communicate your brand from a recruitment standpoint. You have painstakingly crafted your brand's messaging to be consistent across all of your handouts, website, products, customer service strategies, and processes. Why not get HR on board? Have a little fun, and maybe - just maybe - your employees will, too.
Here are a few of my favorite creative titles, along with what the "traditional" version would be.
1. VP of Misc. Stuff - does a little of everything - Quicken Loans
2. Genius - service technician - Apple (retail stores)
3. Director of First Impressions - receptionist - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
4. Sous chef - Product development technician - Method
5.The Resinator - leads packaging team - Method
6. Arts and Crafts Designer - creates engaging marketing campaigns, artistic product packaging, and colorful designs - Method
7. Director, Ethical Hacking - helps financial institutions identify the vulnerabilities of their Web applications and networks - Predictive Systems, Inc.
8. Master of Disaster - helps federal, state, and local authorities access the information they need to recover quickly from calamities - MapInfo Corp.
9. Project Meanie - her job is to keep her coworkers on schedule - InsightShare LLC
10. Crayon Evangelist - oversees all of the company's graphic-design needs - InteQ Corp.
11. Catalyst - executive assistant/office manager - Detroit Venture Partners
12. Director of First Impressions - receptionist - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
13. Creator of opportunities - SVP of business development - Allen & Gerritsen
14. Ambassador of buzz - corporate communications associate - Grasshopper
15. Digital prophet - attempts to predict trends - AOL
16. Chief curator - chooses which items to be featured on homepage - eBay
17. Head of global trends and futuring - progressive strategist - Ford Motor Co
18. Chief Cheerleader - CEO who supports the whole team's efforts - Mid America Motorworks
19. Chief Amazement Officer - founder - Shephard Presentations
20. President and TeaEO - play on words here for the CEO - Honest Tea
21. Chief Troublemaker - CEO - Matrix Group
What titles have you seen that intrigued you? The memorable monikers drive imagination and help the brands shine in a highly competitive marketplace. It's time to say goodbye to the Vice President of Compliance and welcome in the Chief Getting S#!T Done Officer.