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Titles Recognition Consultants Communication Persuasion

Our company retained a consultant to look at how we are organized, and one of his recommendations is to reduce job titles for several of us. Some directors will become managers, and some managers will become supervisors. All of us are upset, and we are wondering how to combat this.

When a consultant comes in and reduces your titles, you are entitled to be upset. Perhaps these title changes will make your organization appear to be well-organized, but success is based on more than how a company appears.

Job titles have major psychological value and can play a key role in an individual’s self-image and self-definition. These titles are also a key source of recognition, and recognition has been consistently found to be a key motivator on the job. Studies have even found that titles for some employees mean more than pay.

Reducing employees’ titles is all but guaranteed to generate dissatisfaction, distrust, and decreased personal productivity. Actually, if this consultant truly wanted to help your company in terms of satisfaction, motivation, and personal performance, perhaps he should have recommended more prestigious titles.

At this point, do not think about dealing with this issue from the standpoint of “combat.” Rather, take a businesslike approach. Several of should meet with senior management, assuming they all still hold such titles, and talk about the impact that title reductions can have on employee performance. Try to provide the senior managers with specific facts that demonstrate how they and the company at large can profit by having the employees retain their current titles. Since the consultant is looking at how the company is organized, here is an opportunity to show him how you and your associates are organized.

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