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job rotation

How to know when it is time for job rotation in your organisation

Job rotation involves shifting a person from one job to another, for a specified period of time, so that they can gain more skills in different areas. Sometimes job rotation is used before posting new employees to specific jobs and other times it becomes a necessity at the work place especially when you need all your employees to have an extensive experience base.

As a human resource agent, it is important to study your work environment and know when a system for job rotation might be beneficial to  your organisation. With this in mind, Here are some situations that can inform you on when it is the right time for job rotation:

When the physical /mental strain becomes too much for an employee

Different jobs at any organisation require different physical or mental capacity. Managers should learn to identify when an individual is undergoing either physical or mental strain such that it burns them out and interferes with their performance. Job rotation in such situations becomes important to relieve individuals of the strain they are going through. For example, you may shift an employee from a mentally strenuous position to a position that requires physical activities with less mental burden. This rotation can help such employees reduce stress and fatigue by being in a different work environment.

Succession planning

During the succession planning process, you may realise that some positions are occupied by individuals who possess a certain skillset that no one else in the organisation possesses. This means that should this person be unavailable to perform their tasks, the activity will come to a halt and productivity and customer service will be affected. A job rotation system would ensure that a certain group of people learn different skills. This way, there will always be a few other people who can perform that job should the main person be unavailable.

When there is a need to improve on products and processes

3M, one of the largest manufacturers in the world, known for inventing commodities such as the post-it-note and sand paper, credits its success to innovation. In 3M, employees are allowed to work in the departments of their choice, where they are encouraged to suggest inventions and innovations. Learning from this, job rotation can help employees suggest ways to improve products and processes when they move to different departments. This is because they are able to view the department from an outsider’s perspective and think of different ways that things can be done.

When an employee is no longer challenged or invigorated by a role

Lastly, when you realise that employees are experiencing monotony, complacency and groupthink at the work place, it may be time for some job rotation. Some tasks can be repetitive; colleagues can spend a lot of time together to a point of developing groupthink which can hinder production. Although job rotation can bring about new challenges, it sets up different employees to work together to create an altogether enriching experience.

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