Performing the same job year after year is a recipe for boredom, coasting, and low productivity. Entrenched, stagnant employees protect their turf, resist change, and create roadblocks. In addition, they build power bases that instinctively fight off innovation from “outsiders.” Resistance, gossip, and manipulation become typical tools to protect the status quo.
Some organizations, on the other hand, require employees to change jobs at given intervals, IBM and McDonald’s for example. This makes sense to me except for highly specialized professionals like doctors or employees in small organizations.
During economic belt-tightening, lateral movement in the place of vertical promotion often retains new employees.
If the thought of rotating jobs every two years is too much to bear, consider rotating job responsibilities between people in the same job classification. This may give HR a coronary but it’s worth exploring.
The process of creating dynamic work environments using job rotation is challenging but benefits may justify efforts.
Job rotation helps:
- Motivate stagnant employees.
- Stabilize organizations. When employees leave unexpectedly cross-trained individuals fill the gap.
- Inspire creativity. New eyes looking at old positions open new possibilities.
- Reduce burnout and increase job satisfaction.
- Provide opportunities for individuals to learn new skills.
- Provide opportunities for individuals to learn how to teach others.
- Open teams to new players.
- Fast track high potential employees.
- Develop leaders with wide knowledge of the organization.
- Enhance new employee retention.
- Highly regulated industries.
- Union guidelines.
- Internal resistance.
- Frustration of high seniority employees.
- Training needs.
- Consistency and planning.
What suggestions can you offer for implementing job rotation?
If job rotation is not applicable or too disruptive, how can leaders create dynamic work environments where employee motivation, engagement, and innovation are high?
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