Job Rotation in your agency: Pass or Play?
Some employees are here very hard to hold onto due to wanting more opportunities. Here’s how you can promote job development and not lose your agency while at it.
Nowadays, only 15% of employees are committed to their work. Those are harsh numbers so we ask ourselves why do employees check out? Maybe they aren’t being challenged enough to hone their skill sets. How can we prevent this from happening and boost engagement at your agency? That’s an easy one: Job rotation.
A job rotation program moves employees through a variety of positions within or among different departments, enabling them to gain exposure and juicy new skills that blend in well with the tool the employee already has. This prevents any kind of turnover and boosts career development and engagement, as well as learning new things, which is always motivating.
The benefits of job rotation for employers and employees alike, there are certain areas in your organization that will reap greater rewards than others.
But first, we must ask ourselves:
What is Job Rotation exactly?
Job rotation is a strategy where employees rotate through different jobs in the same business. Employees take on new tasks in a new role for a period of time before rotating back to their original position.
Generally, an employee´s pay remains the same at the new job. A rotation program doesn’t mean employees are promoted, although they can actually happen. Employees tend to move laterally from job to job.
With a job rotation system, employees gain experience through different positions, achieving different skills by taking on new responsibilities. Rotations are meant to promote flexibility, employee engagement, and retention.
What’s the whole point of Job Rotation?
When trying different roles, employee skills develop by accepting new challenges and mentors, learning new skills, and growing. When having new responsibilities, brings a sense of freshness and novelty. Employees can also explore different teams and boost their network within the company. Ultimately, job rotation can increase job satisfaction.
For agencies and companies alike, job rotation also creates a solid roadmap to prevent losing internal know-how. It helps an organization from the inside making it more flexible and internally connected.
Rotation, alongside other job design strategies, can be used as job enlargement or increasing an employee’s responsibilities within an organization rather than switching the person to another position, as rotation does.
Job Rotation advantages and disadvantages
Whether you want to boost retention or encourage development, a workplace rotation program could help you take things up a notch.
Before implementing the system, let’s analyze job rotation pros and cons.
Many employers who choose to create a job rotation policy do so as an employee benefit. But employers, aren´t the only ones who reap the rotation program benefits.
Consider these benefits of a job rotation for both employer and employees.
1. Employee Motivation and Retention
Job rotations motivate key, high-potential employees because they are seen by those employees as a company-made investment in their future. They want to retain talent because they believe in new learning opportunities. If a talented employee sees no chance of improving, or if he’s been in the same position for far too long, then there is a high turnover risk. By rotating the employee, you create more challenges, test adaptability to a new environment and manager, and get the employee to learn new skills. Keeping the ambiance fresh with opportunities, will motivate your employees to be better at what they do, and make sure they can aspire to new positions and better life quality.
When team members regularly switch different jobs, they can diversify their day-to-day work and avoid monotony. This can significantly boost employee engagement and job satisfaction. With new challenges and opportunities to learn, staff members can escape the boredom of working the same job for years, and improve career development. It’s no wonder that 94% of employees say they would prolong their work at a company if provided with learning opportunities. We can safely say that job enrichment matters and should carefully be thought of.
2. Skills develop and Organizational capacities increase
Job rotations broaden skills because they expose employees to different functional areas of the company. When a research and development employee rotates to a sales position, for instance, they learn more about building relationships with customers, understanding their needs, and how the wholesale cycle works.
Employees gain a fuller picture of how the business works, which benefits all involved them.
knowing how to do a job like the back of your hand is great, it really is. But, it can also be limiting. A job rotation strategy helps employees develop skills they can use not only in other positions but in their main role, too.
- Make an employer feel more valuable.
- Boost morale.
- Improve knowledge.
- Increase engagement.
Employees who work at a company that encourages their development might not feel the need to change jobs. Instead of leaving your business for a new job that helps an employee develop, they can rotate jobs.
3. Provides new learning Opportunities
One of the biggest benefits of job rotations is that it encourages employees to learn and grow. They can gain valuable experience and new skills by taking on different positions within the same company. Cross-training boosts not only employee experience but their contribution to the business too.
Besides gaining specific new skills, job rotation allows staff members to gain an overview of how the organization works. They get to know different apartments and how they work together, which helps employees better understatement of the company.
4. Enhances Connectivity within the organization
Just as job rotations broaden skill sets, they also broaden employee networks and connections, further preparing the rotated employee for leadership roles
. Employees for leadership roles. Employees learn differently from the different working styles and cultures within each area, as well, which encourages collaboration. They also provide the company with a cross with cross-functional capabilities, meaning that when someone suddenly quits or gets sick, the organization can call upon a deep bench of talent who is capable of filling different functional roles.
When employees rotate between different apartments within an organization, they can get to know more of their colleagues. This is a good opportunity to create new professional connections, as well as friendships. It can boost people’s feeling of belonging to the company, as well as overall employee morale.
From the organization’s point of view, job rotation can improve team building within and across teams and departments. As staff members get to know each other, they are better connected and can function as one team.
5. Helps you identify where employees work best
A job rotation strategy can point out an employee´s strengths and weaknesses. You might find that an employee is stronger in a different job at your agency. After all, you need to have all your employees in the right roles for business growth and efficiency.
6. Provide a backup plan if an employee leaves
We know employee turnover can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be devastating. By having a rotating strategy, you have multiple employees who know how to do the job.
So you’ll be covered if an employee decides to leave, and you won´t need to scramble to hire the first person you see. Instead, you have other employees capable of covering the separated employee’s tasks.
So if you need to reach out to hire a replacement, you can take time to find the right fit.
Disadvantages of job rotation
Hold on one minute, not all businesses can implement rotations successfully. Well, that’s no shocker, is it? Take a look at these job workplace programs’ cons.
1. Can be costly and time-consuming
So you know that when someone is new at what they do there’s a learning curve, right? They don’t magically have their responsibilities down pat.
Training must be done, and It ain´t cheap let me tell you, we’re talking here of thousands of pesos and hours and hours of explaining.
Although you may not need to spend quite that much money and time on a lateral shift, you should still consider it.
Solution: As an agency, you should test out a trial period and be clear to the employee that is learning that they have to strive to earn a place within the agency. During that period you should communicate to your employee that he or she will be paid but not as much as a regular employee, and if they want the whole cake, then they should impress their scouts with a good job and a strong will to learn the craft.
2. You could end up with disgruntled employees
Some employees may simply don’t want to do it. They are comfortable doing what they do and that’s it, they’re afraid someone new would mess up their process, and for good reason.
On the other side, you might have employees who excel at their jobs and are not willing to learn something unrelated to what they do, which seems fair. Sometimes employees will be stressed out at the prospect of changing their jobs.
Solution: Have a prepared team to handle the employees that arrive at a new workstation. Have someone who is specialized in the new task at hand lead the new group and be near them, so that they don´t feel lost. Be sure to gradually increase the level of difficulties of some tasks, don´t expect a ten from someone who is willing to learn something new.
For those more experienced employees, rotate them to an area that has something to do with what they already do, so they can develop a more complete profile. Make them understand that learning something new is beneficial for them.
3. Your business may end up damaged
One of the most devastating disadvantages of job rotation is that your business could take a hit. Because employees are learning something new, there could be errors. Customers could become frustrated by confused employees who make mistakes. And if operations don’t run smoothly you might end up losing the business, in the worst case of scenarios.
Consider job rotation could help your business. You don´t want slow operations, confused employees, and angry customers in the process.
Solution: The leader of the project will have to check everything twice before delivering. It will be a good idea to delegate that task to a minor employee in charge also. It may be wise to broaden the time of deliverables to give time to your employees to get used to this. You might also want to have a more specialized member in the team just in case something needs to be resolved more urgently.
4. Require extra resources
Before you craft a job rotation system, you should calculate the upfront investment it may require. Training is by no means cheap, however meaningful it is. It also takes time for other employees to mentor their colleagues.
When a team member starts in a new position, as we’ve said before, there is an inevitable learning curve. Employees need time to master new skills, which can lead to inefficiencies along the way.
Solution: Define criteria to evaluate the results. What skills has the rotated employee learned? How has the rotated employee used best practices from previous positions? How has the employee’s manager and the team learned from the employee, and vice-versa? You’ll likely collect regular feedback from the rotated employee, their manager, and colleagues. By doing this you can estimate how much you’re going to direct to that area and define if it’s a good idea for your agency to spend that money. You may end up realizing that it is drowning you up financially, display less money, and see results and growth in a more gradual way.
How to implement a good job rotation
Setting up a working job rotation system entails good planning. You’ll need to set goals, create guidelines, and analyze the results.
1. Create a solid plan
A successful job rotation program star with defining clear objectives and making a detailed strategy.
Set and define job rotation goals, for example :
- Enhance employee skills
- Analyze and select critical job positions that should participate.
- Developing employee knowledge
- Define development techniques, including mentoring and training.
- Giving employees more stake in the business
- Find employees who can take part in the program.
- Prevent burnout
- Interview employees and determine their attitude towards rotating jobs.
- Assign approved employees to different new positions.
It’s way easier to start with one team or one department. That way you can test run the rotation plan safely. Then you can move on to switching employees around in other departments.
Once the program is in motion, you should ensure there is continuous support. Doing regular evaluations is a good idea, as is setting up a reward system for performance.
2. Estimate the right duration
Getting the timing right is a key fact for winning a rotation strategy right. This is important for both your employee and for the organization.
A team member should stay in a determined position for long enough to get the desired skill and knowledge. There should be sufficient opportunities to adapt and learn. At the same time, the system has to be more dynamic.
Rotations should happen at regular intervals, long enough for learning that is, yet be mindful to keep it short so as to create a sense of novelty and development. For some agencies, it may work changing every month or quarter. For other more long periods as seven or eight months will suffice.
3. Create Guidelines
We must ask ourselves the following: what does your program look like? Take your time, lay down the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your program through detailed guidelines.
- Who’s going to rotate?
- What’s the protocol in the whole process?
- Where will they go?
- When is it going to happen?
- How will your employees adapt to their new environment?
It may be a good idea, to sum up, these ideas in a sort of book that employees will reference in case they need any help.
4. Analyze the results
It´s important to keep track of how things are going along. Is there anything that can be done better? Once you get your workplace rotation up and running, determine whether it’s working or not.
Are your employees actually benefiting from it? Is your business growing because of it?
Consider asking employees for feedback that asf for engagement, morale, and satisfaction with the rotation: Feedback is the only thing that can help you get an image of how your program is running along, employee’s perspective is everything.
5. Listen to what your employees say
Forceful assignments can hurt motivation and engagement. After all, each person should have a say in their professional development, so that the rotation makes sense for them.
Listen to people, especially when it comes to their preferences and goals. Then you can offer them a new challenge, they won´t be able to say no.
Job rotation can be extremely beneficial for your agency. It’s a very playful strategy to keep your employees out of boredom and allow them to have a more complete profile by acquiring new skills.
Be mindful though, as everything has a counter pick. Be sure to have leaders and people that can guide that whole process, you don’t want unsatisfied clients, frustrated employees, and angry leaders.