Dale Carnegie in his book – How to Win Friends and Influence People said people like to feel important. Fifty five years after his death, IT companies in India are indeed becoming believers.
Some common designations in company hierarchies include project manager, team lead, software developer and so on. This according to me satisfies the safety layer in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but the ones above that – belonging and esteem needs something else.
IT companies are playing game to the employees’ needs by assigning quirky designations that not only indicates what the person is in charge of, but retaining the talent within the office premises as well.
Here are some unusual designations – chief fun officer, cost kill analyst, first impression officer, chief happiness officer, chief blogging officer and many more that I find hard to keep note of.
So, if you are a chief happiness officer, your main objective is to ensure that employees are happy. There is a budget given to you, but wait, the cost kill analyst who is in charge of shredding the redundancies will keep a tab on what is given to you. With the budget you have in your kitty, you need to keep employees happy.
Your appraisals will not be done like the rest of world, but through employee satisfaction surveys. And, some KPIs for you would include measuring the happiness index, and the index achieved vs cost spent and so on.
It surely sounds fun, listing the roles and responsibilities of fun designations but what about the person himself. Is he happy? If he does a good job, will he be promoted to some other role which has something to do with fun. Nah!
This is where the buck stops and fun goes draining down the whirlpool. These designations make sense if they are temporary and additional to what one does for a living. Fun designation by itself is like an airplane which can never land in its lifetime.
Does it work?
I think it does to a certain extent. People get bored easily. So, keeping this role active during some dull times of the year makes better practical sense than clinging onto it forever.
It need not always be a designation which is out of the box. Maybe something that is meaningful as well. A security guard in an office I know is designated operations manager as he is coordinating certain admin activities daily. This designation not only makes him feel important, but takes out monotony of being associated with security.
Whenever I have discussed this topic in small forums, I find people speaking for and against; mostly against. I guess the world is getting serious for the fun we have left to enjoy. Where do you stand?