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Importance of job rotation

Job rotation is the surest way of keeping the employee away from complacency and boredom of routine. It is difficult for an employee to sustain his interest in a given job for any substantial length of time as humans have the tendency of outgrowing their jobs through the learning and experience that they gain over a period of time. Stimulating human mind through diversity of challenges is a sure way to bring to forefront its creative instincts and in taking the individual and organizational performance to a higher plane. This is where job rotation can prove to be a handy tool.

Potential of job rotation
A well planned job rotation programme in an organization has immense potential of positive impact on job satisfaction, engagement of people and finally on retention of people. Few of the outcomes of job rotation with respect to the individual are:
  • Job enrichment
  • Overall development
  • Intrinsic motivation to perform caused by newer challenges
  • Career development
Where as for an organization, the benefits could include some or all of the following:
  • Leadership development
  • Aligning competencies with organizational requirements
  • Lower attrition rates
  • Performance improvement driven by unique view points of new people
The ritual of job rotation
Today, in the industry, job rotation is viewed “as just another transfer” rather than as an important tool for implementing HR strategy of the company. Job rotation has become a ritual at best, with out any focus on the outcomes that can be achieved through a little planning and implementation effort. Today, job rotation is a means of punishing poor performers, settling scores arising from organizational politics, or going through percentage rotation scheme, where a certain percentage of employees in a certain area are shifted to pre-designated areas every year.

Realizing the potential of job rotation
In order to realize the true potential of job rotation, there must be a planned system in place with the policy taking into account,
  • Organizational interest – employee commitment, attrition rates, specific business issues etc.
  • Eligibility of the employees – qualification, prior experience, aptitude, competence etc.
  • nature – mandatory or voluntary
  • Duration
  • Basis of selection etc.
In the absence of aspects brought out above, there is every possibility that the seriousness with which the job rotation scheme is implemented in the company may get diluted and become a cause of sagging employee motivation.

Job rotations at different levels of management
For job rotations at a slightly higher level, it is absolutely necessary that the business problems in various areas are identified. This calls for the active involvement of top management. Select most suitable people to be shifted from their current jobs to tackle the challenges at hand by considering individual attributes already described above. This will not only provide an insight for the future leaders in various aspects of the business but also will enhance their confidence levels as they solve these critical problems for the organization.

Job rotation at junior and middle level executives may be pivoted around their strengths and attributes and the future roles expected of them. Focus must be on exposure in all related areas of his domain of expertise, so that as they grow to higher rungs of the management, they have an overall experience of their domain.

Job rotations for workers must include aspects related to work environment, also along with other individual attributes already explained, so that it adds to his satisfaction derived from balanced distribution of work load, working conditions and learning opportunities.

Done this way job rotation gets aligned with career development, leadership development and employee satisfaction which would finally result in higher levels of intrinsic motivation among the employees and hence may contribute in retaining talent.
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