Job Rotation: Advantages and Disadvantages

Job Rotation: Advantages and Disadvantages
Last Updated: March 22, 2023

Job rotation is a technique for increasing employee engagement and learning. This post discusses its benefits and downsides and provides five instances of businesses that have effectively implemented job rotation.


What exactly is a job rotation?

Job rotation is the systematic movement of individuals from one job to another inside an organization to meet various human resource objectives, such as onboarding new employees, training them, and improving their careers while avoiding boredom or burnout.


Some define it as the practice of relocating employees within a company. These rotations are mostly lateral, meaning they occur between occupations on the same level and are not considered promotions. Workers usually return to their prior workplace after a predetermined length of time.


Starting a new job is exciting and challenging; it reduces boredom, stimulates motivation, helps assess person-job fit, and is a great way to acquire new knowledge and competencies by practicing different jobs. These are just a few of the key benefits of rotating jobs.


Job rotation is a well-known organizational development technique. It is an essential part of the job (re) design and job simplification, enrichment, and enlargement. Lets look at the advantages of job rotation in more detail.

Related: The importance of Job Analysis


Job Rotation: Advantages and Disadvantages

A workplace rotation program could help you kick things a notch up, whether you want to increase retention or stimulate development.


There are numerous pros and downsides to establishing a work rotation program for ones firm. This technique will not work for every company. Consider the following benefits and drawbacks before allowing your staff to rotate roles.



1. Highlights employees strengths

Managers cannot always expect staff to perform flawlessly. Working out each employees strengths and areas for growth guarantees that they are always working toward their full potential.


Job rotation, it should be noted, identifies which jobs your staff is naturally better at. Rotating the role may place them in a better situation than the prior one.


2. It prevents stagnation and boredom.

Companies are taking employee engagement more seriously as time goes by. According to a study, around 65% of employees worldwide felt engaged in their work as of September 2021. In comparison to 2020, this represents a 3% reduction, bringing involvement back to pre-pandemic levels. This suggests that a significant portion of the worldwide workforce is dissatisfied with their existing jobs. As a result, they may be enticed to look for fresh challenges elsewhere. Employees can get a fresh lease on life at work by taking on new duties, which can help them stay at the company longer.


3. Encourages growth.

According to Gallup, 59% of millennials are looking for new jobs to advance their careers. Many businesses want to see their staff gain experience and responsibility without relocating.


Job rotation teaches employees new skills and sends the message that the organization values professional growth. If employees believe this is a basic value of the organization they work for, they may feel less inclined to leave.

Related: Good skills for a resume


4. Fatigue prevention

While all professions can be exhausting, industries that require a lot of work might greatly benefit from job rotation. Rotating tasks might help employees in industries like construction and delivery. When all employees take turns doing each job, fatigue is less likely. If individuals are accustomed to carrying heavy objects, they may benefit from less physically demanding tasks such as paperwork.


5. Turnover Preparedness Plan:

While employee turnover is costly in terms of both time and money, job rotation may help to mitigate this issue in the future. The more adaptable people grow, the less urgent it will be to replace someone if they depart.


If your present employees check all of the boxes in the job description, HR managers are more likely to hire from within. At the very least, employees can function admirably while looking for a long-term replacement.


Related: What Are The Six Steps Of Job Analysis And Examples?

Job Rotations Drawbacks


1. It Can Be Expensive In Both Time And Money.

Employee training isn't inexpensive by any means. Firms frequently invest thousands of dollars and months in training new employees.


According to the Association for Talent Development, training each employee costs an average of $1,252 and takes 33.5 hours.


Job rotation will increase training costs and time, so businesses should think about it.


2. It isn't appropriate for all industries.

Some industries, as previously noted, will gain more from employment rotation than others. Some companies will not benefit at all. Job rotation will not assist industries where personnel must be highly skilled in certain positions (such as doctors and lawyers). Workers who require years of training will also be disadvantaged.


Job rotation does not help highly skilled workers, such as:

  1. Engineers
  2. Scientists
  3. Doctors
  4. Teachers


Workers with a vocational education who do not benefit from job rotation include:

  1. Truck drivers
  2. Plumbers
  3. Machinists
  4. Cooks
  5. craftsmen
  6. Accountants


3. Employees may perform poorly.

Its also worth mentioning that not all employees will benefit from job rotation. Some employees may be successful and comfortable in their existing position, and there may not be a better person available.


Some employees may not want to learn new skills, so being forced to rotate roles may impact their performance and overall employee experience.


4. It could be detrimental to your business.

Implementing a work rotation program could harm your firm in the worst-case scenario. Customers may be dissatisfied, employees may be stressed, and operations may be slowed. Employees venturing outside of their comfort zones are more likely to make mistakes.

Related: What are the methods of Job Analysis


5. It Wont Resolve All Issues.

It would be naïve to believe that job rotation will solve all of your company's problems. Other factors can influence employee engagement, turnover, and poor business culture.


Job rotation is beneficial, but it should not be utilized as a quick remedy. Before taking substantial steps, its necessary to get to the bottom of your employees issues.


Putting in place a job rotation program

Have you decided on a job rotation system? Great! You should follow these job rotation best practices for a successful program:


Set goals

What good is it to have staff cycle employment in your company? What are your objectives for your job rotation program?


Set and specify your work rotation objectives. For instance, your objectives could be:

  • Employee knowledge development
  • Increasing employee ownership of the company
  • Employee skill development
  • Burnout prevention


Create Guidelines

 How does your program appear? Establish precise criteria for the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your program.

  • Who is going to rotate?
  • What is the rotation protocol (e.g., do employees, supervisors, or others initiate rotations)?
  • To what locations will staff rotate?
  • When will they switch places?
  • Why are employees switching jobs?
  • How will you transition staff into new roles?


Consider including your policies in your employee handbook to be referred to as needed.

Related: Job Enrichment: Everything you need to know


Analyze it.

Determine whether or not your workplace rotation is effective after it is up and running. How are things going? Do you need to iron out any flaws in the program?


Examine your program to discover:

  • What are the advantages for your employees?
  • What does it mean for your business?



Feedback can help you assess the programs efficacy from the employees perspective.


Benjamin Sombi is a Data Scientist, Entrepreneur, & Business Analytics Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.


Benjamin Sombi

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