Job rotation is a management technique that assigns trainees to various structures and departments over a period of a few years. Surveys show that an increasing number of companies are using job rotation to train employees (see Coyne 2011 below). There are both positive and negative effects involved with job rotation that need to be taken into consideration when a company makes the decision to use this technique.
Organizations that use job rotation tend to be successful innovative companies and organizations with a growth and development agenda.
Job rotation is also a control to detect errors and frauds. It reduces the risk of collusion between individuals. Organizations dealing with sensitive information or system (e.g. bank) where there is an opportunity for personal gain can benefit by job rotation. Job rotation also helps in business continuity as multiple people are equally equipped to perform a job function. If an employee is not available other can handle his/her position with similar efficiency.
For a full critical literature review of job rotation research, grey literature, and new evidence based models of job rotation see Coyne, P. (2011) below.
Job Rotation is frequently used with new college graduates who are just entering the workforce. Trainees gain perspective on various areas of the organization. This provides an opportunity to work with higher management and different departments. Job rotation helps trainees to best apply their:
There are different reasons a company may choose to use job rotation such as using job rotation as a learning mechanism. Research suggests that there are significant benefits that may out weigh the costs involved with training employees for diversified positions. As a learning mechanism, employees are given the opportunity to learn necessary skills which can help them to advance within a company. This employment opportunity also has the effect of boosting morale and self efficacy. The company may benefit from using job rotation by having the ability to staff key positions within a company. This practice may allow a company to run more efficiently, and as a result, become more productive and profitable.
Job rotation can also be used to alleviate the physical and mental stresses endured by employees when working the same position, year after year. By allowing employees to rotate to other positions, the risk factors for some types of musculoskeletal disorders may be reduced. Job Rotation is also believed to have the ability to decrease the amount of boredom and monotony experienced by employees who work the same position for extended periods of time.
In conclusion, when a company decides to use job rotation, it is a decision which needs to be thoroughly evaluated based on the positive and negative aspects a company may face during the utilization process. To aid decision making extensive critical literature reviewing and modeling has been undertaken see Coyne, P (2011) below.
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