Job Rotation

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Job rotation is the surest way of keeping the employee away from complacency and boredom of routine. It is difficult for an employee to sustain his interest in a given Job for any substantial length of time as humans have the tendency of outgrowing their jobs through the learning and experience that they gain over a period of time. Stimulating human mind through diversity of challenges is a sure way to bring to forefront its creative instincts and in taking the individual and organizational performance to a higher plane.

This is where Job rotation can prove to be a handy tool. Job rotation involves the movement of employees through a range of jobs in order to increase interest and motivation. It can also be described as an approach to Management Development where an individual is moved through a schedule of assignments designed to give him/her a breadth of exposure to the entire operation. Job rotation can improve “multi-skilling” but also involves the need for greater training. In a sense, Job rotation is similar to Job enlargement.

This approach widens the activities of a worker by switching him or her around a range of work. For example, an administrative employee might spend part of the week looking after the reception area of a business, dealing with customers and enquiries. Some time might then be spent manning the company telephone switchboard and then inputting data onto a database. Job rotation may offer the advantage of making it easier to cover for absent colleagues, but it may also reduce' productivity as workers are initially unfamiliar with a new task.

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Job rotation is also practiced to allow qualified employees to gain more insights into the processes of a company, and to reduce boredom and increase job satisfaction through job variation.


A well planned Job rotation programme in an organization has immense potential of positive impact on job satisfaction/motivation, engagement and finally on retention of employees. Few of the outcomes of job rotation with respect to the individual are:

Job enrichment Overall development Intrinsic motivation to perform caused by newer challenges Career development


For an organization, the benefits could include some or all of the following:

Leadership development Aligning competencies with organizational requirements Lower attrition rates Performance improvement driven by unique view points of new people


Today, in the industry, Job rotation is viewed “as just another transfer” rather than as an important tool for implementing HR strategy of the company.

Job rotation has become a ritual at best, without any focus on the outcomes that can be achieved through a little planning and implementation effort. Today, Job rotation is a means of punishing poor performers, settling scores arising from organizational politics, or going through percentage rotation scheme, where a certain percentage of employees in a certain area are shifted to pre-designated areas every year.


In order to realize the true potential of Job rotation, there must be a planned system in place with the policy taking into account,

Organizational interest – employee commitment, attrition rates, specific business issues etc. Eligibility of the employees – qualification, prior experience, aptitude, attitude etc. Nature – mandatory or voluntary Duration Basis of selection etc. In the absence of aspects brought out above, there is every possibility that the seriousness with which Job rotation scheme is implemented in the company may get diluted and become a cause of sagging employee motivation.


At the senior management levels, job rotation - frequently referred to as Management rotation, is tightly linked with Succession Planning - developing a pool of people capable of stepping into an existing job. Here the goal is to provide learning experiences which facilitate changes in thinking and perspective equivalent to the "horizon" of the level of the succession planning. For job rotations at this level, it is absolutely necessary that the business problems in various areas are identified. This calls for the active involvement of top management to select most suitable people to be shifted rom 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. In many cases, senior managers seem unwilling to risk instability in their units by moving qualified people from jobs where the lower level manager is being successful and reflecting positively on the actions of the senior manager.

It is however important to note that Job rotation at this level is less frequent as workers who fall under this category are already at the strategic stages and peak of their career. 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.

For this level, job rotation has normally one of two purposes: Promotability or Skill Enhancement although at Middle Management, Succession planning also becomes one of the purposes of job rotation. 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.


Job Rotation is seen as a possible solution to two significant challenges faced by business:

(1) Skills shortages [when there is a lack of skilled individuals in the workforce] and Skills gaps [when there is a lack of skills in a company’s existing workforce which may still be found in the labour force as a whole].

(2) Employee motivation

Cite this Page

Job Rotation. (2018, Sep 06). Retrieved from

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