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Employment Branding, Talent Acquisition

Putting the Best Spin on Your Company’s Employee Job Rotation Program

By Elizabeth Magill , April 14th, 2018

A growing realization in business management is the delicate balance of the need for a competitive edge, while simultaneously enhancing employees’ career development and staving off their boredom. Although strategies differ drastically, business leaders can be assured that implementing a job rotation program will enhance enterprise success thanks to a more engaged, motivated, skilled, and committed workforce.

Job Rotation in a Nutshell

A properly implemented job rotation strategy involves rotating employees across many different positions for different lengths of time in order for them to gain exposure to various roles within the company. The result is that all employees gain a certain amount of respect for each position within the company and many employees discover talents, skills, and interests they would have never known about otherwise.

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Advantages of Job Rotation

While not everyone in the company may feel that a job rotation program is a good thing for them or the company, the truth is that there are many positive things that happen with job rotation—when it’s done properly. The most important thing to understand about job rotation is the potential advantages it offers to your organization, its customers and/or clients, and your employees. As New Charter University points out, businesses large and small have experienced less turnover, less employee absenteeism due to burnout, and greater overall job satisfaction by employees.

And let’s not forget the opportunities of increased innovation when employees have a more well-rounded view of the enterprise. Employee motivation is markedly improved in companies where job rotation is practiced, which often leads to inspired employees and innovative employees.

Another benefit to the company that implements a job rotation program is that managers are able to quickly identify people who have a great aptitude for certain roles, management potential, or easy adaptability for multiple roles within the organization.

More importantly, no one experiences the long-term burnout that goes with doing the same job day in and day out. Employees receive great advantages from job rotation as they are less likely to become bored and often find they are more satisfied with their jobs. Greater job satisfaction is one of the things employees most often complain about in jobs that offer few, if any, challenges to them. The constant rotation of roles within the company will provide a steady stream of challenges, which turns around and keeps them engaged in their jobs.

Words of Wisdom Regarding Job Rotation

While there are many benefits to consider, there are also a few words of caution to consider before implementing a job rotation program in your business. Keep these things in mind and have a plan in place for them in order to keep the experience as positive as possible for everyone.

1) Don’t expect easy street. This is a huge endeavor, logistically, to tackle for most businesses. Expect a learning curve for every employee involved in a job rotation program.

2) Training is critical. Don’t overlook its importance or necessity. Also don’t underestimate its expense. You must also make sure that employees have the proper background and skills to do the jobs they will be required to do as part of their rotation schedules so supplemental training in between positions may be necessary as part of the preparation process.

3) Expect resistance. In fact, you should expect it all around. There will be employees who resist, says Jill Jusko of Industry Week. But there will also be financial partners and management members who will resist. Whenever possible link the job rotation to an employee’s career development to minimize resistance.

4) Use it at all levels. Don’t just utilize job rotation for employees in nonexempt positions. Your company will benefit from cross training exempt and managerial employees as well.

5) Use it throughout employees’ career. A job rotation can be effectively used for employees whose career has stalled, plateaued, or is in its later career stage, in addition to those early in their career.

Job rotation is clearly a tool worth considering. Implementing a job rotation strategy is a long-term investment in your business that may take awhile to pay off. There will be bumps in the road, but if you are committed to the cause, the benefits can be well worth the initial (and ongoing) efforts to make the program successful.


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