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How can you choose the most appropriate job title when wearing many ‘hats’ in your company?

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose – author of the business and time management books TimePeace: Making peace with time – the The Book of Answers: 105 Career Critical Situations – and I am a business and efficiency coach that specializes in time management, project management and work-life balance strategies.

A busy business owner asks a question leading his team:

How can you choose the most appropriate job title when wearing many ‘hats’ in your company?

As a very new small business, anyone I bring on to my team is going to be responsible for more than one area of expertise. How can I name or define their positions when they are going to be doing much more than one thing?

My first recommendation is to decide the goal behind your job titles. Is it to instill confidence in your organization, in your team, or to impress the potential client? Once you can decide on what your specific goal is for your job titles, the closer you will become in accomplishing that goal.

Use multiple titles to accomplish multiple goals

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need just one title. If someone is doing multiple functions, feel free to consider multiple titles. Your employee will need to explain “what they do” at your company in many different situations: business meetings, client meetings, networking meetings, when clients visit your offices, when orientating new hires and during their job performance evaluation sessions.

Each situation should be handled differently. For instance:

· Client Facing Titles – (i.e. business cards for networking and attracting clients)

· Office Titles – (i.e. title on their door or desk)

· 30 second elevator speech – (i.e. their What I Do statement)

· Professional Business Commitments job descriptions – (i.e. the job descriptions you refer to during their performance reviews)

Client Facing Title

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Using your customer perspective, of the many jobs your employee is doing – which does your client care about the most? If an employee does both customer service calls and maintains your internal website content, chances are they want to know your customer service representative. Therefore, you put that on the business card that is used for client attraction and business networking.

If your goal is for your potential clients to have confidence in your small business, you might want to use a more innovative titles such as: Client Success Manager or Customer Support Specialist.

If your employee handles both internal and external sales for your small business – and he/she is having trouble getting people to return his/her calls, you might want to use a title like Partnership Development Manager. This implies that you are partnering with your client for their success.

Bottom line is to first figure out what you want to accomplish with the title.

Office Titles

Job titles are almost always a sensitive and emotional issue; they can motivate, inspire, enhance an individual’s drive or conversely impede their ability to succeed. For the individual’s office or desk titles, ask your employee’s input. Provide several options and allow them to suggest modifications or alternatives. Work on the office titles together, until you are both satisfied.

What I Do statements (or 30 second elevator speech)

Every one of your employees should have a concise 25 word or less “What I Do” statement handy for client office visits, business meetings and networking events. This statement is useful because it doesn’t depend upon merely a title to convey their individual and team contributions to the company.

If your team is having trouble creating their 30 second elevator speech, experiment with the following formula:

I am and I am the . I help in order for them to .

At the end of the day I

Have everyone display their “What I Do” statement in their office somewhere, as their individual vision or mission statement.

PBC (Personal Business Commitment)

Every employee should have a written PBC or Personal Business Commitment plan. This is the document or roadmap that they follow to achieve the company’s business goals. The document outlines the Company’s Business Goals for the year; and how each department plans to achieve those company goals. The employee’s PBC then outlines the specific tasks and SMART goals they are committing to achieve in order for their department to meet the company goals.

If you cannot align an employee’s task with a specific company goal – eliminate it. If your company isn’t ready to take business advantage of the employee’s efforts – eliminate it for now. If your employee is not meeting their PBC SMART goals – then place the employee on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan).

Putting it together

For example, if your employee holds the following job tasks:

· She is technical support on current products;

· she maintains the company website,

· she accompanies the sales team on client calls to provide answers to technical issues,

· and she also contributes to the company blogs.

The title on the business card intended for clients should be Subject Matter Expert

The title on her desk could be Senior Engineer

What I Do statement could read:

My name is Sally DoGood, and I am a Senior Engineer and Subject Matter Expert for company BESTCO. I specialize in site engagement and communications. I am the customer liaison between sales and development, and I manage internal communications between the divisions by updating and maintaining the internal website.

At the end of the day, I help keep the company running smoothly by assuring both my internal and external clients are successful.

Hope this helps a little.

I know your situation is different. If you would like additional information on this topic, please contact LauraRose@RoseCoaching.info

I am a business coach and this is what I do professionally. It’s easy to sign up for a complementary one-on-one coaching call, just use this link https://www.timetrade.com/book/WFSFQ

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

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