What’s in a name (2)

Singapore 7th October 2010

In a previous blog I wrote about the impact of big name designers or celebrities to give extra sales value or importance to a project. Today it is about a totally different aspect of “names”. As we grow our business we engage more staff and as the team grows we start to differentiate the tasks and responsibilities of the staff. While I have sworn off titles and descriptions for myself a long, long time ago, new staff like to know what their job title is. It gives them some form of recognition and allows them also to position themselves towards clients and assert their responsibilities in their work.

In a small company with just a few people we basically do everything and support each other. Even as director it is no issue for me to make my own photo copies when others are busy but obviously as the company grows segregation and delegation of work becomes crucial for progress. So how to classify (new) staff and assess their position, title and with that their salary? Most job titles also slot the staff into a salary scale. But in our business sometimes the need is great and the balance between demand and supply challenging us to hire someone at a higher salary then we would normally. Then there is the balance between experience and qualifications. Higher qualifications do not necessarily come together with the required experience and let’s face it experience is key in our business.

In a big company work responsibilities are much more structured and organized and there is more opportunity to compare and allocate the positions. But still….can we name an older person with little experience a Junior Lighting Designer? Assistant Lighting Designer may suit a bit better. When do we start calling someone a Senior Lighting Designer? Longevity in a company also needs reward and in the long run there are opportunities to become a project manager, director, partner or associate.

Giving someone a job title is still a challenge for me as I feel that lighting designers are multi-disciplinary. Bit in the end it is all about performance and team spirit, so if the job title helps motivating the staff then finding the right name for the persons job responsibility remains an important thing.

07. October 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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