What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Job Rotations?

Friday, June 10, 2022

Job rotation is when employers swap employees between multiple positions within the same company. While both businesses and employees can benefit from this, it's not right for every company.

Article 5 Minutes
What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Job Rotations?

Are your employees engaged at work? There are many signs your employees are engaged, including high levels of productivity and overall happiness. Unfortunately, far too many employees are not engaged at work because they aren’t being challenged enough or developing their skillsets. These individuals do the same tasks every day and don’t learn anything new, which can lead to burnout. You can prevent burnout and prevent employees from quitting jobs through job rotation.

Job rotation helps prevent employee turnover and increases job satisfaction by moving employees throughout different positions within the organization to help improve their professional skills and keep them engaged. However, job rotation is not right for every company or even every employee. This article will explore what job rotation is and its benefits and challenges.

What is job rotation?

Job rotation is when employers swap employees between multiple positions within the same company. Job rotation is not a promotion; instead, employees switch between roles that are on the same level. However, job rotation can lead to promotions since it prepares employees for different types of roles and responsibilities. Job rotation can occur within the same department or across different departments in the organization.

Advantages of job rotation

Both employees and businesses can benefit from job rotation in the following ways.

Learning opportunities

Job rotation encourages employees to learn about different roles within the company to grow their skillsets. They gain valuable experience and skills through rotations by taking on various positions within the same company without going back to school or having special training. Not only does job rotation help employees’ personal development, but it can help them contribute more to a company. By assisting employees to gain new skills, they can also understand more about the business to see how different teams work together.

These learning opportunities can help invigorate burnt-out employees by showing them a new business side that they might enjoy more. Some employees may choose to switch departments for good and be able to use their new skills to help the company grow.

Boosts motivation

Because job rotation helps keep employees engaged, it can also help them explore their interests without having to find another job. Employees can figure out which fields interest them the most without having to leave their job to experiment with having another position. Additionally, changing job responsibilities prevents employees from getting bored, increasing their job satisfaction.

They’ll be faced with new challenges every day, which can help them escape the boring work they’ve already mastered. Most employees want to learn so they can advance in their careers but find little time outside of work to learn new skills. Job rotation allows employees to learn more while at work, which can help prolong their employment.

Promotes company loyalty

Job rotation helps connect employees with the organization so they can feel more committed to the company. In addition, by rotating between different jobs, employees can get to know more of their coworkers to create professional relationships and friendships while boosting their sense of belonging.

Helps employers discover strengths

You might hire someone because you like them rather than being the perfect fit for the job during the recruitment process. Job rotation can help you learn more about employees’ strengths as you allow them to explore different skills. Managers can start to learn what employees are good at to place them in the right departments and positions that can help the company grow. Additionally, it helps employees discover their own strengths, which can help them figure out what positions they’d rather be in within the organization.

Challenges of job rotations

While there are many benefits of job rotation, it’s not right for every company. Here are the downsides of job rotation:

Extra resources

Job rotation requires an investment into extra resources. For example, as employees rotate from department to department, they’ll need training which takes time and money. While those additional resources might be worth it, some companies can’t afford to spend time on training.

Employee frustration

It’s possible many of your employees enjoy their jobs and plan to have a career in the field they’re already working in. They may not have a desire to learn about different departments within your company. While job rotation can increase employee satisfaction in some cases, it can also decrease it for employees who already have the jobs they want. Before you start a job rotation strategy, talk to your employees and ensure nobody has to rotate if they don’t want to.

Lower quality work

You should always be strategic with job rotations. For example, you can’t simply put someone who has spent five years in HR in the marketing department and expect them to succeed. People will make mistakes as they get trained in different roles, which means lower work quality and an increase in errors.

If you work with clients, lower quality work could mean lower customer satisfaction, which could jeopardize your business.

Unnecessary stress

As we’ve mentioned, many employees might already be in the positions and departments they want. By putting them in new departments, you might be adding to their stress levels. Nobody wants to start a new job every couple of months and constantly have to learn something new. While job rotations can keep employees from becoming bored, they can also put them through unnecessary stress when they’re already happy with their positions.

Is job rotation right for your company?

Before you start a job rotation plan that can affect the happiness of your employees, talk to them. Ask if they believe a job rotation program will garner their interest. Some employees, especially lower-level employees, might be excited by the idea of learning something new. However, employees in leadership positions who have worked hard to get where they are might not want to change their job duties every few months. Once you’ve decided to begin job rotation, make a clear plan to ensure employees know what’s expected of them.

Matt Casadona

Writer

Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

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