Job Rotation – Definition, Objectives, Benefits and Importance

Job Rotation is a management approach where employees are shifted between two or more assignments or jobs at regular intervals of time in order to expose them to all verticals of an organization. It is a pre-planned approach with an objective to test the employee skills and competencies in order to place him or her at the right place. In addition to it, it reduces the monotony of the job and gives them a wider experience and helps them gain more insights.

Job rotation is a well-planned practice to reduce the boredom of doing same type of job everyday and explore the hidden potential of an employee. The process serves the purpose of both the management and the employees. It helps management in discovering the talent of employees and determining what he or she is best at. On the other hand, it gives an individual a chance to explore his or her own interests and gain experience in different fields or operations.

Job Rotation in Human Resource Management

Objectives of Job Rotation

Job rotation is a well planned management approach that is beneficial both for employees and management. Main objectives of job rotation are;

  • Reducing Monotony of the Job: The first and foremost objective of job rotation is to reduce the monotony and repetitiveness involved in a job. It allows employees to experience different type of jobs and motivates them to perform well at each stage of job replacement.
  • Succession Planning: The concept of succession planning is ‘Who will replace whom’. Its main function of job rotation is to develop a pool of employees who can be placed at a senior level when someone gets retired or leaves the organization. The idea is to create an immediate replacement of a high-worth employee from within the organization.
  • Creating Right-Employee Job Fit: The success of an organization depends on the on-job productivity of its employees. If they’re rightly placed, they will be able to give the maximum output. In case, they are not assigned the job that they are good at, it creates a real big problem for both employee as well as organization. Therefore, fitting a right person in right vacancy is one of the main objectives of job rotation.
  • Exposing Workers to All Verticals of the Company: Another main function of job rotation process is to exposing workers to all verticals or operations of the organization in order to make them aware how company operates and how tasks are performed. It gives them a chance to understand the working of the organization and different issues that crop up while working.
  • Testing Employee Skills and Competencies: Testing and analyzing employee skills and competencies and then assigning them the work that they excel at is one of the major functions of job rotation process. It is done by moving them to different jobs and assignments and determining their proficiency and aptitude. Placing them what they are best at increases their on-job productivity.
  • Developing a Wider Range of Work Experience: Employees, usually don’t want to change their area of operations. Once they start performing a specific task, they don’t want to shift from their comfort zone. Through job rotation, managers prepare them in advance to have a wider range of work experience and develop different skills and competencies. It is necessary for an overall development of an individual. Along with this, they understand the problems of various departments and try to adjust or adapt accordingly.

Benefits of Job Rotation

Most important benefits of job rotation are;

  • Raises intrinsic reward potential of a job: Job Rotation is likely to raise intrinsic reward potential of a job due to different skill and abilities needed to perform it. A worker becomes a broader based versatile worker due to job rotation. Management gets the benefit of job rotation because workers become competent in several jobs rather than only in one job. Staff adjustment in different department is possible easily due it the practice of job rotation.
  • Beneficial to the organization: Due to job rotation, the organization stands to gain because of the versatility of its employees who develop skills due to job rotation. It develops a common culture because of wide and common exposure to workers.
  • Worker becomes competent in several jobs: Due to job rotation, workers know about a variety of jobs. It also facilitates personal growth of employees and makes the workers more useful and valuable to the organization. The organization stands to benefit as the workers become competent in several jobs. As and result, the management gets employees who can perform a variety of tasks to meet contingencies.
  • Improves inter-departmental co-operation: Periodical job rotation improves inter-departmental co-operation. Employees understand each other’s problems properly and this facilitates co-operation among them.
  • Motivates employees: Job rotation technique is used for motivating employees in the organizations. It is suggested as a motivational strategy.
  • Reduce Boredom: Job rotation reduce boredom and disinterest among employees. Due to job rotation, a given employee performs different jobs of more or less the same nature. The employee gets some variety of work, workplace and peers.
  • Develops wide skills among workers: job rotation develops and wide range of skills among employees. It broadens knowledge and skills of an employee. Personal worth of employee also improves.

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 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.