Looking for a way to reward your valued employees? Consider changing their job title.
A new study by Pearl Meyer & Partners shows that employers can use job titles to retain and reward high performing employees. The study suggests that many employers title jobs with great flexibility and allow for alternative job names. For instance, many employers assign titles of Manager, Director, and Vice President to not just employees with supervisory responsibilities – but also those that have significant responsibilities in the organization and are individual contributors. In this way, employers can reward non-supervisory or non-managerial employees. For examples of job titles, visit
Why are job titles important in rewarding and motivating employees? They hold significant value for several reasons. First, they define a job and an employee’s area of responsibility. In the survey, almost three-quarters of organizations found job titles to be important and believed that they conveyed authority and responsibility. Second, they establish the company ladder. Being labeled as someone of a higher level in the company is distinguishing, allowing for greater access and recognition. In addition, job titles have emotions and expectations attached as individuals have a need to feel intelligent, influential, and important. Finally, they can empower employees to expand their responsibilities in the organization, and may even prompt positive behaviors such as taking more initiative or displaying greater leadership. For all of these reasons, enhancing job titles can be extremely motivating to employees.
An important additional reward component of enhancing job titles is the way in which the change is communicated. Creating a formal announcement organization-wide or within a specific department allows for public recognition of the employee. Other ways organizations could communicate this change is on their website or within a newsletter.
- Pearl Meyer & Partners. (2009). 2009 Report on Job Titling Practices.
- Business Knowledge Source. (2009). Job titles: How can I use them to motivate employees and communicate to customers?