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While you might think that creative job titles such as “chief happiness officer” may help staff feel happier about their jobs, a survey by Spherion warns that this might actually prompt the opposite response.
The survey, conducted online in September 2016 with Research Now, found that a quarter (25%) of workers consider non-traditional job titles unprofessional and are against the idea of having one. While another 23% agreed that these more creative billings don’t accurately capture what their job entails.
That said, 14% of employees also believed that more traditional titles such as “project manager” or “specialist” are too generic and could use some improvement.
Spherion’s survey also pointed out that creatively-named roles are not the only reason for employees’ overall professional title dissatisfaction. More than two in five (42%) of today’s workers feel their job title does not accurately reflect their true roles and responsibilities.
“Employees take great pride in their job titles, and in some cases, a title that is considered limiting or hard to describe can significantly impact their job satisfaction,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president.
“As businesses face greater pressure to retain and recruit top workers, reexamining how different titles are perceived and applied can make a big difference in building morale and positioning a company as a favorable place to work,” Mazur added.
The survey pointed out that despite general unhappiness with their job titles, employees feel confident in their ability to describe their job in a way others can easily understand.
If put on the spot, 89% of workers say they would have no problem delivering an “elevator speech” that highlights their responsibilities.
When workers do struggle to articulate their jobs, however, often it is because they consider their responsibilities too complex for those outside of their industry to comprehend. Slightly more than a third (31%) felt their job or industry is too specialised to easily convey, while 29% say they avoid using work jargon in casual conversation.
Additionally, more than half (53%) of workers give different accounts to different audiences, while an another 11% say they occasionally lie about what they do for a living.
Although it’s possible some workers enhance their job title or duties to improve others’ perceptions of them, for others it’s a must – one in four (25%) employees say they cannot fully disclose the full nature of their job due to security or confidentiality risks.
READ MORE: What your job title says about your pay