We had some very serious briefings at work last week. You know, the kind of briefings where they take every individual department aside at the appointed time, read them a carefully worded statement and then, when that's done, make sure that everyone has a one to one meeting with their boss that same day where you can hear how the changes to the organisation affect YOU.
As we trooped out of our briefing, one of my colleagues grumbled about how the session, long anticipated, had actually been something of an anticlimax. Well, in my experience, anticlimax is about the BEST you can hope for from a session like that....
The long and the short of it, at least as far as I was concerned, was that the company was halving the number of job grades. Not the numbers of people within those grades (although there will be some redundancies), but the number of levels within the company itself. The rationale, apparently, is to make things simpler and lines of communication much clearer.
So, my level was being merged with the level below, but none of my benefits or terms and conditions would be otherwise changing at all. Instead of being a grade G, I was going to be a band 5. My closest colleague was moving from a grade H to a band 5. Nothing else about the way we worked was going to change.
I stopped wanting to be managing director some time ago and the prospect of advancing upwards through the job grades isn't really that enticing for me. I'm sure some people were deeply upset by the changes, but the merging of my grade with another? Not a big deal for me. My colleague, less experienced than me and previously in a lower grade, would now be in the same -- bigger -- band. So what? I do not define my self-worth by my rank within a job. Who does? Well, to be honest, given the vast number of grades within the company in the first place, everyone else just might...... so maybe simplification could be a good thing. Whisper it quietly, but perhaps, for the first time in history, this was a well-conceived corporate reorganisation?
....So imagine my surprise when I was told that, as part of the changes in the department, I was going to be responsible for writing the job descriptions for my role.
Yes. Descriptions. One grade, two job descriptions.
You see, although two levels have been merged into one level as part of the reorganisation, it seemed that we are still going to have distinct job descriptions: a senior role and a junior role, if you will.... except that HR have forbidden the use of the word "senior" in job descriptions at my level because it's a word that denotes a job at the level above. The word "lead" is also banned, as that would indicate a job at the level above that. No, the "senior" job at my level should include the word "manager" to differentiate it from the "junior" job that now exists at the same level.
All clear? Twenty grades halved into ten bands with different levels within the bands.
Aren't you glad we made things so much simpler?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, C. is a band 2. For context, that's the same level as the director in my department (my boss's boss's boss). I'm increasingly realising that my main role in life is to drive her to work in the morning and then home again in the evening. The rest? That's just filler.
Just as it should be.
We can't all be heroes, because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.