4 Reasons to Encourage Job Rotation

No matter what line of work you're in, there may come a point where you grow tired of doing the same tasks day in, day out. But what if instead of seeking out a new job with a different employer, you could stay put at your present company but dabble in other areas of the business?

It's a scenario that's more than possible if your employer is willing to offer job rotation. Job rotation programs give workers the chance to explore different positions within a single company, and gain exposure to different strategies and skills. Unfortunately, an estimated 56% of companies don't offer job rotation opportunities -- and they may be missing out on a number of key benefits. Here are just a few reasons to consider rotating employees through various positions at your company.

1. Better employee retention

When employees get bored with what they're doing, they tend to want to jump ship -- so if you, as an employer, can prevent that boredom from setting in, you stand a greater chance of retaining strong employees who add value to your business. Offering your workers a chance to grow their skills also sends the message that you're willing to invest not just in their careers, but in their long-term satisfaction. In today's job-hopping age, that's something that can go a long way.

2. New perspective on existing roles

When you stick somebody in a certain role for an extended period of time, you can easily wind up in a situation where there's no innovation being brought to the table. That's because people tend to grow complacent when things run smoothly by adopting an "if it's not broken, don't fix it" attitude. But just because certain processes aren't broken doesn't mean they can't be improved upon, and if you allow employees to take a stab at different roles within your company, that fresh perspective might help uncover a host of great ideas and improvements.

3. Avoiding single points of failure

In any work situation, it's natural to have certain individuals who you, as management, rely upon heavily. The problem, however, is that when you're overly dependent on specific employees to keep things running, you expose your business to a world of upheaval when those individuals suddenly aren't available, whether it's due to vacation, illness, or the fact that they've chosen to take their talents elsewhere. On the other hand, if you adopt a job rotation program, and teach new employees those same critical skills and procedures, you'll have better coverage in the event that those same key people aren't there to do their jobs for whatever reason.

4. Minimizing the need for recruiting

It costs time and money to seek out new employees and go through the onboarding process. But if you expose your existing workers to different areas of the business, you'll have more opportunities to hire from within as the need arises. And, depending on how things shake out, you may even wind up in a situation where you're able to consolidate certain roles or teams so that when internal promotions take place, you won't necessarily have to fill all of those lower-level roles.

There are plenty of good reasons to encourage job rotation at your place of work, but if you're worried about the logistics, it helps to start small. Run a pilot program for a limited group of employees, and see what ensues. If you find that you're getting good feedback and results, you can then expand it slowly over time. The key is to at least be open to the idea, because if it works, your company stands to benefit in more ways than one.

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