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Job Rotation: The only win-win scenario

Nov 02, 2021


  • EDITORIAL TEAM Talent Management Institute
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Job Rotation: The only win-win scenario

Gone are the days when employees accepted a gold watch as a token of appreciation after working years at one company.

Talent today is constantly in motion as a matter of course. That is only going to get more intense as job growth increases. However, the influx of migrating workers poses unique problems for businesses trying to retain their top and brightest employees.

As a result, innovative companies are adopting a new retention method: employee rotation. Instead of limiting employees to one job type with a particular career path, companies allow employees to move across a range of roles within teams or departments. The concept of job rotation is an opportunity to encourage workers, expand their skills and, more importantly, keep their jobs. Employers also have peace of mind knowing that someone can quickly replace an injured or absent employee's position.

What is the true meaning of job rotation?

It is an effective managerial strategy that allows employees to be moved to two or even more tasks or positions at regular intervals to expose them to different aspects of the company. It is a planned approach that aims to assess the skills and capabilities of employees to put him or them in the appropriate position. Additionally, it is a great way to reduce the monotony of work and provides the employee with a wider range of perspectives and greater understanding.

The job rotation process is a carefully planned procedure to cut down on the monotony of performing the same type of work every day and discovering the potential hidden within employees. This practice serves the needs of both the management and the employees. It aids management in identifying the strengths of employees and also determining what they are best at. However, it provides an individual with an opportunity to investigate their interests and experience different areas of operations.

Job Rotation Objectives

  • Reducing Monotony of the Job The primary goal of job rotations is to decrease the monotony and repetition within a job. It lets employees experience various types of work and encourages them to do it efficiently at each replacement phase.

  • Succession Planning: The notion behind succession planning is "Who will be replaced by whom'. Its primary function in the job-rotation process is to create an array of employees who can be put at a senior level after someone retires or leaves the company. The idea behind job rotation is to ensure an immediate replacement for the employee who is highly valued within the company.

  • Creating the right Employee-Job fit: The success of an organization is dependent on the efficiency of its employees. If they're in the right place in their job, they'll be able to deliver the best output. If they're not given the task, they excel, which can create an enormous problem for both the employee and the organization. Thus, placing the perfect candidate for the right job is one of the major goals in job rotation.

  • Exposing Workers to All Verticals of the Company Another important function of the job rotation is exposing employees to all the business areas of operation or verticals so that they are aware of how the company functions and how tasks are carried out. It allows them to comprehend the work of the organization and the various problems that arise while working.

  • Testing Employee Skills and Competencies: Examining and analyzing the skills and capabilities and then assigning them tasks that are the best at among the primary functions of the job rotation. It's done by shifting employees to various tasks and assignments and determining their ability and proficiency. The placement of them in the areas they excel at will increase their efficiency on the job.

  • Developing a Wider Range of Work Experience: The majority of employees don't wish to shift their work areas. When they begin to perform the assigned task, they aren't likely to leave their area. Through rotations in their jobs, managers train beforehand to gain more job experiences and build different capabilities and abilities. It is crucial for the overall growth of the individual. Additionally, they must be aware of the challenges of various departments and strive to adapt or adjust accordingly.

Job Rotation is a carefully designed management strategy that is beneficial for the employees and management.

The Benefits of Job Rotation for Your Employees

Assembling an all-star team takes a lot of effort, time & money.

When you finally have a pool of experienced and skilled people who can work well together, the last thing you would want to do is shift employees to different areas of your organization, right? You might want to reconsider your thinking, as the job rotation could benefit both your employees and your business.

Job rotation is a great method to build the company by providing diverse perspectives, developing employees' capabilities and preparing the next generation of leadership. Many managers appreciate the importance of allowing their employees to shift into different roles of the business.

Here are the top five most important benefits of employing the practice of job rotations in businesses:

1) Better Employee Experience

This benefit is why many leaders, such as those who oversee internal audits, like encouraging their star employees to leave the department and fulfil other roles. They understand that if these employees return to their department one day, they'll return with an understanding of the business that will enable them to become more effective internal auditors. If they choose to remain in a different position, their expertise in auditing can assist them in identifying the risks to the business. They can assist internal audit teams in collaborating more effectively with the department since they know the two sides of the argument.

2) Employee Introspection & Job Role Modification

If an employee is assigned an entirely new job, they bring their approach to work and thinking to the new job. A fresh outlook can result in innovation as well as problem-solving, which can improve efficiency. It can also result in a revision of the job description for the post, which will help ensure that you're getting the appropriate standards (and compensation level) for the professionals you hire to fill this position.

3) Job rotation accelerates professional development.

Professional development is about helping employees develop. Managers often find it difficult to create relevant as well as "hands-on" learning opportunities. Job rotation can help. Employees can learn new skills quickly -- and are more likely to keep them when they are in an environment that requires them to expand their skills quickly before they can begin applying them.

4) Contingency Plans

Not having a succession plan for the key positions within your organization can be expensive and disruptive. By utilizing job rotations, it is possible to select potential leaders and provide them with the necessary instruction that can help them easily transition into higher-level roles as the time approaches.

5) Job rotation increases recruitment and retention.

Organizations that encourage role rotation will be more attractive employers. Professionals are drawn to organizations that allow them to advance their careers. The job rotation could also be an efficient method of retention. It can meet the needs of highly sought-after professionals seeking new challenges or who want to build their skills in preparation for the leadership roles of the future.

How To Utilize The Full Value Of Job Rotation

Not many from your senior management will be able to efficiently carry out job rotation.

If you ask a CFO to list out benefits of job rotation, they probably might not be able to do that and not know who to promote where. The ones who do tend to recommend the transfer of employees prefer to do it into accounting roles, like payroll, accounts payable and accounting. Fewer would allow employees to transition to tax compliance. This is understandable considering the difficulties of locating this kind of skilled talent.

But, in light of the potential benefits of job rotations, it is important to decide which of your employees are attracted by this opportunity. Find out if your team wants to change jobs within the company and which departments, and for what reasons. Also, speak with line managers within the company to ask for their opinions on how this arrangement might work and whether they would be potential candidates for job rotations too.

If an employee is interested in a job rotation but isn't certain what to do next, think about offering the chance to shadow a worker so that they will get an inside experience of different jobs. Affiliating the employee with a mentor in a sector of the company which interests them is an alternative method. The mentor will be able to explain the responsibilities of their job as well as the abilities required to excel in their job or department.

Be aware that job rotation could benefit your department and also connect you with fresh talent for your team without having to search outside of the company. By being prepared to release highly skilled employees, you might find your company can keep those employees in the long haul. There's a chance that certain employees may want to return in the future and be a part of your team since you helped them in their professional growth.

The Payoff for You (and Your Staff)

How do you begin?

First, be aware that employee rotation plans should be carefully considered. Each company must establish clear guidelines for every team within the company so that employees are aware of what the rotation will be about and managers are provided with guidelines for best practices.

In the absence of clear guidelines, the program will fail as employees travel between jobs without any clear direction or supervision. Be focused, have an agenda and have the ability to gauge whether the program is effective. These programs are often expensive due to the time spent on training employees to take on new roles. However, the rewards can be far more than the cost.

Consider, for example, human resources. In a large organization, one employee who usually manages employee health insurance could be transferred to a position that is prone to job recommendations. So many employees come to human resources for a multitude of reasons, and it makes more sense if their questions can all be answered by their first point of contact. This was everyone in HR cross-trained so that they could serve employees immediately.

Similar principles apply to the sales departments. Since sales depend upon relationships, it's essential for all members of the sales team to become acquainted with the clients of one another. Normally people have dedicated customers, but having someone else available if the primary point of contact is out to serve your customers is key.

Salespeople are usually reluctant to talk about their clients with others. However, they will do so if they are provided with the proper incentives.

A Motivated Worker Is a Happy Worker

It happens frequently. You've got a highly valued employee whose capabilities have grown beyond what he/she currently does, and yet, it's not possible to advance their career. In any company that is hierarchical or flat, there are less opportunities to rise up the ladder as you get higher on the ladder. Also, employees may not be interested in promotions to the next step. They'd rather be an individual contributor rather than advance to management.

For them, Job rotation is an effective retention method to ensure they stay within the company. If an employee is looking to get promoted or not, job rotation improves their abilities and provides them with a greater understanding of the internal workings of the company.

Sometimes, a highly valued employee's path to success isn't always the one that is right for her. But that doesn't mean that she has to take a break and go home. Actually, the reverse is true. We often follow the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and we are content to let employees perform the things they've proven they're capable of. However, a large number of employees may be more comfortable facing new issues and learning new techniques. Growth in self-esteem and career development ranks among the five important factors for employees.


If employees don't feel that they're advancing, they'll look for the exits. If you have an excellent employee who is interested in trying new jobs within your business and you want to work with them, develop a plan for job rotation or a test stage -- it could mean the difference between losing a top employee or helping them discover an interest which, in the end, will boost your bottom number.

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