Job rotation involves moving an employee through a series of jobs so they can get a good feel for the tasks that are associated with different jobs.
This approach is often used in training for supervisory positions, as the employee learns a little about everything. It is also a well-established method in training medical professionals, such as physiotherapists and doctors, providing new recruits with the opportunity to practise their vocation in different settings, such as hospital wards and community clinics.
Studies have highlighted benefits to job rotation (eg Carpini and Parker 2016; Kampkötter, Harbring, and Sliwka 2018). These include:
- Building flexibility into the workforce
- Reducing boredom
- Reducing work stress
- Reduced absenteeism
- Reduced turnover
- Increased innovation
- Increased production
However, some of the problems include:
- Difficulty in finding jobs to rotate to
- Time-consuming to organise
- Lack of time to allow social relationships to form between workers
- Lack of skills development as individuals are rotated away from a job they are good at
- Management misuse (for example, using the trainee as a general dogsbody rather than allowing them quality learning opportunities)
Take a look at the job advertisement below as an example of job rotation. Do you think this would be attractive to prospective candidates? Why/why not?
Research associate, Graduate Rotation Scheme. £34,000 basic salary, plus excellent bonus.
Our client is looking for an exceptional graduate research analyst to join their three-year Graduate Rotation Scheme. They are recognised as one of the most prestigious and elite human capital advisory firms who assist organisations on their most fundamental business needs – exceptional leadership and human capital. They advise on leadership, talent identification, recruitment and retention.
As a graduate research analyst you will have an initial training period of approximately eight weeks and will then rotate through each sector team, allowing you to gain exposure to all aspects of the business. This has many advantages including providing an opportunity to learn how all the sectors relate to each other in the business world, enabling you to learn from a wide variety of experienced colleagues, successfully integrating you into the firm and providing you with an opportunity to discover which specialism you are keen to develop your career in. The graduate research associate will drive research, work with and support the consultant to assist in the preparation of client pitches, presentations, candidate interviews, shortlisting and analysis within financial services, private equity, healthcare, industrial, business services, technology and consumer sectors.
Carpini, J. A., and Parker, S. K. (2016) ‘Job Rotation’. in Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing
Kampkötter, P., Harbring, C., and Sliwka, D. (2018) ‘Job Rotation and Employee Performance-Evidence from a Longitudinal Study in the Financial Services Industry’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management [online] 29 (10), 1709-1735. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/permalink/f/1ea4mrv/TN_informaworld_s10_1080_09585192_2016_1209227 [5 August 2019]
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