Many companies provide job rotation as an added perk for employees, especially millennial employees who love continuous career development. Job rotation is also an effective method for the development of employees in an organisation where job promotion is rarely available.
Job rotation program is typically arranged by the HR team to move employees between one job and another or one office to another in a planned manner. The main reason is to give a new look and new work atmosphere for employees while preventing routine boredom. Not to mention, job rotation can also be a great way to enhance skills and improve job satisfaction levels.
TEKsystems research revealed that job rotation, when executed correctly, can be a nice additional perk to offer as it can reduce burnout and develop a sustainability strategy. One time, TEKsystems was struggling in retaining their IT talents. One-third of IT leaders have no specific expectations for how long an employee will stay with their organisation and more than two-thirds of IT leaders reported retention is a challenge across all skills sets they manage. These problems urged TEKsystems to enable job rotation, resulting in an improvement in a retention strategy.
Shrinivas Kulkarni, vice president at Cyient, wrote that not only is job rotation a great way to enable retention, development, and growth of employees. It can also allow staff to pursue a career path of their choice without having to exit companies. In addition, a rotating job within an industry can benefit the company as follows:
Commonly, HR team can provide two rotations, namely task rotation or positional rotation.
Task rotation is suitable for employees who are too tied up with a job that is either too mentally stressful or too physically demanding. Hence, the HR department can switch their jobs from a high demanding to a lesser demanding job where the employees can get a break from the routine work.
Positional rotation will require employees to change the designation, department, or geographical location in order to give them more exposure to various skills, knowledge, and perspectives. This rotation can be divided further into two categories: function rotation and cross-function rotation.
For function rotation, employees are rotated among two jobs with similar responsibilities with the same areas of function and operation. Meanwhile, cross-function enables employees to change position with increasing level of responsibilities of a job or a promotion.
“An old idea combined and executed in a new way can achieve better success”
Albeit job rotation is an effective method with plenty of benefits, enabling it without ripe plans will only be a boomerang that decreases company productivity and performance. Therefore, here are useful steps to job rotation.
First of all, make clear whether the rotation is necessary for your department and whether it will eventually help employees in their career or not. You can do this by discussing with line managers and subordinate employees. Alternatively, you can get an outlook from a small company survey.
Whether it is the first time or second time your company provide job rotation, an employee survey is a great idea to know the needs and wants of employees. Thus, when they are rotated between jobs, their productivity won’t decrease. Ask your employees what they need through an online or offline form. Do they feel extreme burnout due to a demanding job? Do they want more challenge? Do they get bored with the office atmosphere? Then. analyse it and place the employees in the right rotation.
You cannot expect employees to be an expert in their new position in a short time. Thus, identify a buddy or mentor who can help the employee with their new assignments. This ensures a smooth transition without losing productivity.
Periodically review the progress of the rotated employees. What do they achieve? Are they satisfied with the new achievements? Do they want or need more rotation or want to stay in the position for a while? Does the progress align with organisational goals?
If employees feel fit in the new position, a discussion of job transition is needed. Employees might also need to sign a new contract about his/her new position without abandoning the older contract. If the old contract cannot be replaced, HR should be able to give understanding about the situation and explain to employees that further placement would be available in their future opportunity (promotion).
Does your job rotation program run successfully? If the cost surpasses estimated budget, then HR team needs to reevaluate the rotation and improve or eliminate unnecessary changes.
Constant encouragement from managers will help employees build confidence and enable success. HR team might also want to provide a reward or recognition system at the end of a certain reasonable period for a successful transition.
Read also: Transitioning Through Change: Business Practices That Should Not Be Amended