10 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Job Rotation Program

Expert Tips
Josh Plotnek October 28, 2021 8 min read

Companies can’t expect their employees to stay engaged in their current positions forever. Rotating jobs can provide workers with fresh new opportunities and responsibilities. But it’s not for everyone. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of job rotation.

Construction Workers Implenting A Job Rotation Program

Quick Guide

    Let’s face it – if you are reading this, you are probably interested in moving up the ladder in whatever field you work in. I know I am.

    After all, who really wants to be stuck in the same job for the next 50 years of their life? It’s bound to get boring eventually. 

    Employees who are disengaged in their current job might be tempted to move to another company for more opportunities. 

    As an employer though, why not give your employees those opportunities and keep them on board? Job rotation could be the answer to your problems.

    What Exactly Is Job Rotation?

    The definition of job rotation is actually pretty simple, when you break it down into its two words. It is basically a strategy companies use to allow employees to rotate between jobs. 

    For a specific time period, the employee will perform the tasks of a different job before reverting back to their original job.

    While job rotation can be a useful strategy in theory, there are specific criteria to building an effective program.

    3 Steps Every Job Rotation Program Needs

    Any successful job rotation program needs to take the following three steps:

    1. What are the goals of the program? 
    2. Design the program – who will rotate their job and what new positions will they adopt?
    3. Evaluate the success of the program – are the company and employees generally improving from job rotation? If not, why?

    It’s also worth noting that job rotations shouldn’t be confused with job promotions. While promotions can result from successful job rotations, they are not guaranteed.

    Now that you know the definition of this work strategy, you might be tempted to create your very own job rotation program for your company. But it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons first before you do.

    Job Rotation Advantages And Disadvantages

    There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages that come with building a job rotation program for one’s company. Truth be told, this strategy will not suit all companies, so read the following pros and cons before you let your employees rotate jobs.

    5 Advantages Of Job Rotation

    Workers Implementing A Job Rotation Program
    Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

    Highlights Employee’s Strengths

    Managers can’t always expect employees to do everything right. Working out each employee’s strengths and areas for improvement ensures that they are always on the road to reaching their full potential. 

    It’s worth noting that job rotation specifically identifies what jobs your employees are naturally stronger at. Rotating the role may put them in a position that suits them better than the previous one.

    Prevents Boredom and Stagnation

    Employee engagement is something that companies are taking more and more seriously as time goes on. According to a study, global employee engagement decreased from 22 to 20% from 2019 to 2020 – coinciding with the pandemic. That means that a large chunk of the global workforce isn’t completely engaged with their current jobs. As a result, they may feel tempted to seek new challenges elsewhere.

    A job rotation program could potentially solve this problem. New responsibilities can give employees a new lease of life at work, and potentially keep them at the company

    Infographic On The Importance Of Employee Engagement

    Promotes Development

    According to Gallup, 59% of millennials look for new jobs in order to find new opportunities to grow professionally. Many companies want to see their employees grow in experience and responsibility with time, without needing to move elsewhere. 

    Job rotation teaches employees new skills and as a result, sends a message that the company encourages professional development. If an employee feels like this is a core value of the company they work for, then they might be more aligned with the company culture and not feel the need to move.

    Prevents Fatigue

    While all jobs can be tiring, industries that demand heavy labor can benefit heavily from job rotation. Employees in fields like construction and delivery can benefit from rotating responsibilities. Fatigue becomes less likely when all employees are taking turns doing each job. For example, if an employee is used to lifting heavy items, they might benefit from doing some less physically demanding jobs like paperwork.

    Contingency Plan For Turnover

    While employee turnover can cost companies time and money, job rotation could help alleviate this problem in the future. The more versatile employees become, the less urgent it’ll be to hire if someone leaves the company. 

    HR managers are more likely to hire internally if your current staff tick all of the boxes in the job description. At the very least, employees can perform outstanding tasks while searching for a long-term replacement.

    5 Disadvantages Of Job Rotation

    Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

    Can Cost A Lot Of Time And Money

    Training employees isn’t cheap, by any means. In fact, companies generally spend thousands of dollars and sometimes months training new staff members.

    According to a study by the Association for Talent Development, it costs on average about $1,252 to train each employee, and about 33.5 hours.

    Job rotation is going to lead to more training expenditure and time, so this is something companies must consider. 

    It Doesn’t Suit All Industries

    As previously mentioned, there are some industries that will benefit more from job rotation than others. Also, there are companies that won’t benefit from it at all. Industries where employees need to be highly skilled in specific roles (doctors and lawyers) won’t benefit from job rotation. Also, workers that require years of training won’t benefit either. 

    Highly skilled workers who don’t benefit from job rotation include:

    • Engineers
    • Scientists
    • Doctors
    • Teachers

    Vocationally educated workers that don’t benefit from job rotation include: 

    • Truck drivers
    • Plumbers
    • Machinists
    • Cooks
    • Craftsmen
    • Accountants

    Employees Might Perform Worse

    It’s also worth noting that job rotation might not suit all employees. Some employees may be successful and comfortable in their current role and there might not be an employee who does their job better. 

    Some employees might not be interested in learning new skills, so being forced to rotate jobs could affect their performance and their employee experience in general.

    It Could Negatively Impact Your Company

    In the worst case scenario, implementing a job rotation program might cause damage to your company. When employees are stepping out of their comfort zones, they might be more prone to making mistakes. Job rotation can potentially lead to unsatisfied customers, stressed employees and slow operations.

    Infographic On The Impact Of Work Stress

    It Won’t Fix Every Problem

    You’d be naive to think that job rotation will solve every problem your company faces. A number of other factors can impact employee engagement, turnover and poor company culture.

    While job rotation can be useful, it should not be used as a quick fix. It’s more important to get to the root of your employee’s problems before taking major steps.

    Use The Latest Technology To Implement Your Job Rotation Program

    You might have a clear outline of how your job rotation program looks. But using the relevant software can make the process so much smoother. 

    Apps like Connecteam digitize the implementation of job rotation programs. As opposed to handling all processes with piles of paper and binders, employees and managers alike can make just a couple of clicks to rotate jobs – both on laptops and mobile phones. Employees can benefit from the following features:

    • Share training resources (manuals, guidelines) in a variety of formats such as files, PDFs, videos and images. This means job rotation can be as fun, engaging and informative as you need it to be.
    • Customize the training process so that employees complete specific sections before moving to the next stage of their job rotation training.
    • Share quizzes that employees can fill in to make sure all training resources are fully understood. 
    • Track and measure individual progress on training resources.
    • Easily highlight team member’s strengths and weaknesses in new jobs. Use automated insights to evaluate the success of your job rotation program and improve it.
    • Managers can write evaluation forms to provide employees with feedback on their new jobs. Employees can also provide feedback through forms to evaluate the job rotation program. 
    Connecteam Job Rotation Features

    Employees can refer back to all materials, long after completing training, to solve problems independently without waiting for responses from managers. 

    Connecteam also benefits employers in many ways when it comes to job rotation, especially from a communication standpoint. Managers can use the app to do the following:

    • Create new job checklists detailing everything employees are expected to do during onboarding for the new job. Employees can easily check off tasks and training steps.
    • Update shift schedules, providing employees with new jobs, both ongoing and recurring. Employees can claim open shifts if they have learned relevant skills for the specific job.
    • Create quick tasks with a couple of clicks. Include task descriptions, subtasks and attach images/documents if necessary.
    • Share health and safety guidelines for new roles.
    • Sign off on new equipment for new jobs.
    • Create employee satisfaction surveys – learn how happy employees are in their new job.
    • Improve internal communication with 1:1, group chats and channels.

    Create An Effective Job Rotation Program With Connecteam

    The Bottom Line On Job Rotation

    At the end of the day, job rotation isn’t for everyone. Some industries don’t need (or simply should not) rotate their employees, for various reasons.

    With that said, companies from relevant industries should use the latest software like Connecteam to understand their goals, design their job rotation program, implement it and evaluate its success. 

    This will help managers and employers follow these steps and maximize the chances of improved employee engagement, retention and development. 

    Connecteam Job Rotation Features

    The #1 App To Implement A Job Rotation Program For Your Company

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