Want Your Organization to Grow? Rotate Employees’ Roles

by Aug 9, 2021

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

The activity of rotating employees’ jobs in an organization is known as job rotation. These rotations are mostly lateral, which means they occur between jobs on the same level and are not considered promotions. 

They are also frequently temporary, with employees returning to their previous jobs after a set period.

Starting a new job is exciting and can be demanding. A new job reduces monotony and promotes motivation. It is an opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills as well.

Job rotation is a well-known strategy of organizational growth, but it’s not deployed often enough in smaller organizations… this is a mistake.

Advantages of Job Rotation


Job rotation is an approach for organizations to transfer specific skills, knowledge, and competencies among people, leading to an increase in human capital value. 

I am not a fan of using words like resources, human capital, human assets, to describe people. So, let’s instead say that job rotation helps increase the value that people can add to an organization.

An employee, for example, may learn the entire production process of a business because they have worked in several roles that have given them a holistic perspective. Managers, too, may need to work in various divisions before they are ready for a senior leadership position.


Employee rotation allows people to do a variety of duties, resulting in a more flexible workforce. The overall workforce will be more flexible, and capable of filling any of the available roles that come up over time.

Employee Replacement

When a significant person leaves unexpectedly, their position is best filled by someone from within the company. Job rotation can help in this situation. The important job can be taken up by (temporarily) deploying a peer who is a little bit familiar with the role while having the advantage of being from within the organization.

Orientation and Placement

Internships are one area where rotation is frequently used. A graduate typically works four different roles during a two-year internship. It allows the graduate to discover latent abilities and discover roles that they enjoy and excel in.

Simultaneously, it enables the company to determine where the newcomer can bring the greatest value, a process known as job-employee matching. It is a fantastic technique to ensure that new talent is used to its full potential. 

Similarly, if someone wants to try a new role, they can be rotated within the organization to do so. This also prevents employees from leaving the organization. 

When it comes to interns, just remember to pay them for their time. Please don’t exploit interns.


When someone has been in the same job for two or more years, they are at significant risk of quitting. Job rotation provides a change of scenery and challenges employees, resulting in higher satisfaction and decreased employee loss.

Disadvantages of Job Rotation


While starting a new job, employees must learn the basics before they can perform at their best. The rotation might result in frequent work interruptions and inefficiencies.


Another disadvantage is that someone who rotates out of a post may retain better (tacit) knowledge and relationships. This could lead to this person remaining (partially) involved in the role, causing role ambiguity. Having a peer mentoring program in place is one method to address this issue.

Unsatisfied Employees

Employees’ motivation may be harmed by rotating them out of a job they enjoy. Employees that are dissatisfied with their new jobs lack motivation and may even consider quitting the company.

Lack of Opportunity

Job rotation is frequently horizontal, which means that workers will not receive a promotion but will instead be assigned to a different function on the same level. This may appear to be a detour rather than a next step, causing people to stray from their intended career path.

Do It Right

A smart approach is to assess employee level of desire for job rotation, and frame the rotation as an opportunity to gain more diversified skills that will help them later in their career.

It is highly possible to ‘rotate the incorrect way,’ as you have already discovered. Let us go through a few best practices for making a positive influence while minimizing negative consequences.

Means to an End

Job Rotation can be used for a variety of reasons. What is important to remember is that the purpose of work rotation should be clear from the start. 

Inefficiencies, position ambiguity, and work disruptions result from haphazardly rotating employees into different jobs. Only when there is a well-defined aim or advantage to this practice of job rotation can these inadequacies be justified.


Make sure the employees are trained before being rotated into a new role. Entering a job without the necessary knowledge and abilities to function well, will lower motivation and lengthen the time it takes to reach peak performance. As previously said, both peer coaching and peer mentoring can be extremely beneficial in this situation.

Monitoring and Feedback

Once someone has rotated into a role, make sure you keep an eye on them and give them plenty of feedback. Employees will become increasingly self-reliant as time passes by, requiring less oversight. 

Additionally, establish and convey explicit work success criteria. It makes it clear to the employee what is expected of them.

Although implementing a job rotation program is challenging, such programs offer great long-term benefits for employees and organizations. 

As always, any program can be successful with proper planning, and support by mentors and coaches who have paved the way in the past you can learn from.

Rotating people into various roles helps them grow, and helps the organization build a more knowledgeable workforce, and this improves retention and employee engagement.

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