Organisations understand the importance of continuous learning and the application of innovative measures and appreciate that science and technological advances alone cannot grant them the competitive advantage they desire. There is need for a competent workforce and a strategically designed work environment.
Training methods that update, educate, motivate employees, and ensure that the operations of an organisation continue to run efficiently is encouraged.
One of the most effective training techniques is the pattern of moving employees from one department to another from period to period, with the aim of acquiring knowledge and skills in other areas of the organisation (Nwachukwu, 1988). Koontz & Mills (1984) have opined that job rotation is the best kind of training an organisation can offer as it is designed to make the employee familiar with other positions that may be available.
Bennett (2003) described job rotation as a planned placement of employees among various duties within a period. This process helps the workers build skills and have job independence that can result to increased motivation and output.
The MBA Skool Team (2021) further explained job rotation as the process of moving employees within the same organisation between two or more positions or tasks. The primary aim of job rotation is to reduce repetitive schedule and train in other aspects of the organisation making them learn other skills that can be useful for them in future.
When carefully planned, job rotation has numerous benefits that can be particularly useful for organsations. Lindbeck & Snower (2000) stated that rotation of duties can reduce stress and provide job satisfaction. Bahron and Dousin (2013) also agreed that there is a significant negative correlation between job rotation practices and stress. Furthermore, job rotation helps to relieve exhaustion that come with monotonous duties.
This article intends to show the reader the benefits organisations and employees can derive from job rotation. It also gives guidelines on how to effectively implement job rotation in any organisation.
Benefits of Job Rotation
The boredom factor
A bored employee can have significant negative impact on the motivation of other employees. When a workforce becomes demotivated, absenteeism and high turnover coupled with poor customer service is the result. The USA Today Magazine (1995) stated that job rotation has been found to reduce boredom and monotony. According to Azizi et al (2009), the most significant benefit an employee gets from job rotation is the prevention of monotony.
Developing social and individual human capital
Bennett (2003) explains that job rotation enables employees to develop new relationships with other employees across the organisation while gaining on-the-job experience, a lot of which they learn from more experienced workers.
Workers will be able to develop new skills while improving on their social skills, learning to engage other people, coping and handling conflict situations better.
When employees are allowed to rotate jobs and share responsibilities, problems are better solved. This is because multiskilled workers will approach challenges from different viewpoints which provides the organisation with competitive advantages (Womach et al 1990).
Organisations that engage job rotation practices effectively keep the employees constantly motivated and productive throughout their journey in the organisation.
Better understanding of an organisation
Job rotation provides the opportunity for employees to have more understanding about an organisation and its processes. This can further enable employees understand the vision of their company and become more committed to achieve its set objectives.
Discovery of employee new capabilities
Organisations can discover a better fit or position for some employees especially when they excel in their new roles and can harness their latent talents and abilities.
How Job Rotation can be Implemented
When a job rotation is not properly managed and implemented the aim might be defeated. Preparation is key to the success of any job rotation program. SHRM (2021) recommended the following ways job rotation can be implemented:
- There should be clearly formulated policies on who is eligible for the program, whether employees will be restricted to certain jobs or be eligible to all job roles.
- Determine how workers will be selected for the program. Will the program be made compulsory or is there the option to opt-out?
- Involve the managers and employees in the planning of the program for certain job roles, so that both parties can understand the expectations.
- It is important to have a clear understanding of what skills will be enhanced by placing an employee into the job rotation process.
- There should be an ongoing support programme during the job rotation process. The regular team orientation at the beginning is not enough. The employees involved in the process will encounter difficulties on the job and will need a support system.
- Success on the job should be measured and rewarded. The success should be measured at different intervals and not just at the end of the program, this will encourage the participants.
Job rotation can be successful if the process carefully analyses feasibility and implementation issues while also communicating with senior managers and ensuring their support. The set timelines must be realistic for each position.
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 Temitope Fadare, Personal Assistant to the Managing Partner, SPA Ajibade & Co., Lagos, NIGERIA.
 Nwachukwu, C.C. (1988) Management Theory and Practices. Onitsha, African- Fep Publishing LTD.
 Koontz, A. and Mills, C (1984) Management. McGraw-Hill International Book Company, Japan.
 Bennett, B. (2003). “Job rotation: Its role in promoting learning in organizations”, in Development and Learning in Organizations, 17(4), 7-9.
 MBA Skool (2021). “Jobs rotation meaning, types, importance & examples”, available at: https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms/4392-job-rotation.html. Last accessed 24th November 2021.
 Lindbeck, A. & Snower, D.J. (2000). “Multitask learning and the reorganization of work: From Tayloristic to Holistic organization”, Journal of Labor Economics, 18, 353-376.
 Bahron, A. & Dousin, O. (2013). “Job rotation practices, stress, and motivation: An empirical study among administrative and diplomatic officers (ADO) in Sabah, Malaysia”, International Journal of Research in Management and Technology, 3(6), 160- 166.
 USA Today Magazine (1995). “Job rotation is key to success”, 123(2599), 9.
 Azizi, N. Zolfaghari, S. & Liang, M. (2009). “Modeling job rotation in manufacturing systems: The study of employee’s boredom and skill variations”, International Journal of Production Economics, 40(5), 69-85.
 Bennett, B. (2003). “Job rotation: Its role in promoting learning in organizations”, Development and Learning in Organizations, 17(4), 7-9.
 Womach, J.P., Jones, D.T. & Roos, D. (1990). The machine that changes the worm, Macmillan Publishers 99-102, New York.
 SHRM (2021). “How do I implement a job rotation program in my company”, available at https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tool-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/whatisjobrotation.aspx. Last accessed 24th November 2021.