Introduction to Job Rotation:  The Benefits of Job Rotation

By B. Lynn Ware, Ph.D.

With the economy on the upswing, companies need to find methods to engage and retain workers in order to prevent turnover. Historically, employees tend to find roles in other corporations more easily during a boom economy. This can happen either from fatigue of their current positions, or because a recruiter reaches out to them with an offer for job growth. Why not transfer this approach to work on behalf of the business? What better time for job enrichment than when the organization is in its stride or is expanding? Employees can feel that they are sharpening and expanding their skills and receiving career development opportunities, whether or not there are promotions available. This approach allows for job growth within a current role and translates to more engaged employees who are happier with their employer for giving them the opportunity to learn and grow.

One effective method of skill development or individual growth is implementing job rotation. Job rotation is a method of moving an employee around the organization through a series of scheduled assignments or jobs within a finite period of time. Job rotation has historically been used as a method of preparing future leaders of an organization, so that they could be exposed to all areas of the company, but the approach can be just as effective with individual contributors.

By rotating employees through different job experiences in different departments, employees can gain better insight into “the big picture”; how the company works together to ultimately deliver on its mission and goals; and become cross-trained to fill in during temporary vacancies.

A sound job rotation program allows for flexibility given the needs of the business and specific units. For example, if one function will be growing, employees from other areas may be placed in the unit to prepare for potential growth.

Temporary assignments and relocations

Another form of job rotation is to temporarily assign employees to short-term projects or committees, while still keeping their normal job classification in place.

A third form of job rotation could be temporarily moving employees in the same function to different locations or geographies.

Part-time job rotation

Finally, job rotation does not have to be full time. Employees may spend part-time or even one day a week in a different group or department for exposure and skill development.

Despite the methods used by a company for job rotation, this engagement practice should benefit the organization by increasing the skills in the talent pool and improving employee tenure, with increased job satisfaction and productivity resulting from the effort.

For more information on the benefits of job rotation, please contact an ITS Consultant by calling  (650) 965-1806 or email us to schedule a consultation.