In recent times, job rotation has become an excellent tool to increase productivity, and work effectively towards the all round development of employees.
Job rotation entails moving employees from one job function to another (that requires similar skill sets) at specific intervals. It is gaining immense popularity as companies are trying to break the monotony and add variety to its employees’ daily responsibilities while allowing them to imbibe new skills on a continual basis. Thus, it helps retaining employees’ interest in their work.
Job rotation helps employers create a pool of talent with wholesome experience. It is a structured initiative that helps individuals gain experience across various functions and broaden their perspective. This also ensures employee satisfaction since they get to learn from a variety of experiences and acquire new skills.
Since job rotation is normally offered to employees with high potential, it works towards grooming leaders with cross functional knowledge and experience.
There are different approaches to job rotation practiced by different organizations. While some use it right from the grass root level, others tend to focus on the executive cadre. The management has to visualize the method that would suit their individual organizational requirements and decide on the course of action.
A lot of thought has to go in before selecting the candidate as it may create a few ripples if a deserving person is left out. Moreover it is important to have clarity in terms of the possibility of the candidate getting relocated.
The candidate should be informed about the duration of the tenure and the extent of work to be completed.
From the employee’s point of view, there is a huge difference between classroom education and learning in an actual work environment. Thus, while transferring newly hired employees, one is actually getting immediate results from the learning, which in turn, lasts longer and has a huge impact on productivity The persons selected for rotation know for sure that their talent has been appreciated by the management.
Job rotation is not possible in smaller organizations which may not have the strength of numbers required to shift a talented employee from one department to another. But those organizations that decide to take it up, the following things should be taken note of:
The whole process should be done well. For example, if you start at a very young stage and announce that a person is going through a job rotation s/he may not get the desired attention. Colleagues might fell that s/he is in ‘transit’ and is therefore not going to be a value add. It should thus, be a well planned but not ‘obvious’ path. Otherwise, the person may end up knowing bits of different roles without much depth.
One should make sure that sufficient input is given to the rotating candidate. Continuity should be maintained for the customers and suppliers by overlapping the tenures of the incoming and outgoing executives. This serves a dual purpose as it also gives the newcomer a safety net through their mentors.
Job rotation is an excellent retention tool. As is the case with any change in routine, the employee brings a new approach to the job. There is an increased level of motivation and innovation which leads to job satisfaction. A satisfied and engaged workforce ensures better retention and provides for better performance as there is ample scope for learning. Additionally, this also ensures higher productivity and a pool of qualified for succession.