What is Job Rotation?

Keeping pace with the skills and competencies of employees is a big challenge for managers. Numerous organizations struggle to improve their employees’ skills to make them more productive. Employers develop several strategies and programs to address this kind of situation. One popular solution is job rotation.

Job rotation is one of the best ways to make employees more efficient and allows skills development for better performance in their respective roles. It enables organizations to keep their employees motivated, engaged and productive.

If your company is having a hard time improving employees’ skills, you should consider using job rotation. It can help your team achieve its business goals. So, if you are interested in learning about this awesome job rotation strategy, watch below or skip ahead to keep reading.

What is Job Rotation?

Job rotation is the process of moving employees among various departments or job functions for a set time. It is intended to provide employees with an opportunity to gain broader experience, learn new skills, and advance their careers.

The job rotation program increases employees’ engagement by giving them more responsibility and autonomy. It also allows employees to experience different jobs and acquire new skillsets without switching jobs.

What are the Benefits of Job Rotation?

A job rotation program brings several benefits to your company. Here are some of the job rotation benefits you can enjoy by implementing a rotation program in your team.

1. Enhances Employees’ Skills and Knowledge

Learning new skills and techniques is essential for employees looking to improve their productivity. Implementing job rotation provides employees with an opportunity to grow their knowledge base. It can help your organization stay competitive in today’s market.

Job rotation offers an outstanding opportunity for employees to learn new techniques. When they rotate to a different job, they are exposed to new ways of doing things. It helps them become more efficient and productive in their current role.

2. Improves Employee Engagement

Employees who are well-engaged in their work are more productive and thus they contribute more to the organization. A job rotation system can help improve employee engagement by giving them different functional roles. When workers feel like they are part of the company and have a vested interest in its success, they will engage more in their work.

Best practices to adapt for job rotation

Rotating employees through different positions also allows them to experience different parts of the company. Employees are more engaged when they work on various projects, interact with different teams, and learn different skills. Working on different projects breaks the boredom and monotony and keeps employees engaged.

3. Promotes Career Development

Rotating employees through different positions exposes them to a wider range of tasks and challenges. It can help them identify their interests and strengths and help them plan their career path. It can help them decide which path they should take in their careers.

Job rotation also allows employees to explore different career options without quitting their job. When employees don’t know what they want to do in their career, a job rotation program can help them achieve their goals. For example, if an employee wants to become a manager, job rotation can help them gain more skills and experience to move up in the company.

4. Increases Employee Retention

Retaining employees and minimizing employee turnover are essential for the success of any organization. A job rotation plan can help companies retain talent by giving workers a chance to grow their knowledge base and explore different career options.

With job rotation, they are learning and expanding their knowledge base. It can help keep them interested in their job and prevent them from looking for other opportunities. Employees have more chances to stay with a company when they feel like they are learning and growing.

5. Motivates Employees

Motivation is a contributing factor in the success of any organization. Low morale often leads to low productivity and degraded quality of work. Job rotation gives employees a chance to see different aspects of the organization and acquire new skills without switching jobs. It can help motivate employees and improve their morale.

When employees are rotated to new jobs, they can manage the new task. It offers productivity gains and helps them feel more connected to the company and motivated to contribute to its success.

6. Offers Backup Plan If an Employee Quits

No one is immune to job dissatisfaction. Sometimes, employees quit their jobs without any warning. It can cause a lot of chaos and disrupt the organization’s operations. Job rotation offers a backup plan if an employee decides to quit suddenly out of the blue. When there is a vacancy in one position, other employees can take over until employers find a suitable replacement. Job rotation can also promote flexibility to fill a post.

Job rotation programs enable a company to have several employees that can take over the vacant position when a talented employee leaves. Job rotation prevents a sudden drop in productivity and gives the companies time to find other candidates for open positions.

7. Opportunity to Test Employees’ Skill Set

Testing the competencies of employees is crucial for identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Job rotation programs provide managers with the opportunity to test an employee’s skill set in a deep way before offering them leadership positions.

The job rotation strategy gives employers the chance to identify which employees are suitable for leadership positions. Employers can test an employee’s skill set and offer them leadership roles when they know that they have what it takes to succeed.

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What are the Drawbacks of Job Rotation?

Job rotation is not without its drawbacks. Some of the most common challenges are as follows:

Time-Consuming and Costly Pursuit

When an employee is rotated to a new job, they have to spend time learning the job duties and responsibilities. During the employee learning period, they are not contributing to the success of their current job. A job rotation program often creates gaps in the continuity of work. It reduces the organization’s overall productivity and adds additional costs to training employees.

The time an employee needs to switch to a new job is quite disruptive. While the employee is learning, their current job lacks proper coverage, affecting productivity. It is costly for an organization, especially if they pay the employee for the time they are rotating. It is also challenging if an organization has a lot of unfilled positions because employees have to rotate to different vacancies.

Not Appropriate For Every Position

Job rotation is not suitable for every job position in an organization. Only some employees should rotate to different roles as it may not benefit them or the organization if they rotate to a role that does not suit their interests and strengths. An employer needs to consider the position and role of an employee before rotating them to a new job.

Lack of Necessary Skills

Job rotation is not an appropriate plan for every employee. Some employees may not have the necessary skills to be effective in their new role, and it can impact the organization in a negative way if they are rotated into a job that does not suit them or make use of their strengths.

Job rotations should help employees grow and develop. If an employee cannot do a job, they should not be pushed to that post. An employer needs to analyze that employees have the necessary competencies before rotating them to a new job.

Lead to Misunderstandings

In some cases, organizations rotate employees into new positions where they supervise other co-workers. It has caused miscommunication and misunderstanding between the employee who is in charge of the team and their subordinates.

Job rotation can also cause confusion when an employee supervises other colleagues because one has authority over them. It can create issues between employees who were previously equal in the same position.

Dissatisfaction Among Employees

It is best if you offered job rotation to interested employees to have the chance to experience different jobs within an organization. If the rotation is mandatory, this may cause problems for disgruntled employees who are not interested in rotating. It is also challenging if an employee does not want to rotate his or her job.

If some workers are not interested in job rotation, it can create tension, dissatisfaction, and job burnout among employees. Organizations should avoid this situation if possible. The managers must identify which jobs work best with the interests of each employee before rotating them into jobs.

Damage to the Business Growth

Job rotation can also damage business growth if it is not done in the correct way. When employees are rotated to different departments, they become less productive in their new tasks because they are still learning new responsibilities and duties of their jobs. In such situations, they might make mistakes that will impact the growth of the company.

Employees who have rotated their positions might fail to deal with the customers, which can impact the business growth in a significant way. An employer should ensure that the employees are comfortable with the new job before rotating them to avoid the high risk of business growth issues.

How to Create and Implement a Job Rotation Plan?

When developing the job rotation plan, you must consider the interest of employees and their roles in a company. The following steps can help you create an effective job rotation plan.

Job rotation policy and plan

1. Get Leadership Commitment

The first step to developing job rotation is to get the commitment of leadership. The leaders should be on board with job rotation and understand its benefits before implementing it.


2. Choose the Critical Job Posts

The next step is to choose the critical job posts that you can rotate. Select the job posts based on their importance for the growth of your company and the competencies required for them.

3. Conduct Job Analysis

To create a job rotation program, you need to analyze the nature of the job, the duties involved, and the skills required. It will help decide which employees are a good fit for rotating to a new job.

4. Determine the Best Fit for Each Role

The managers should interview employees and ask about their skills, knowledge, and experience in their current roles and the role they would like to rotate into. Analyzing employees will help you understand their skills and interest in a new role. Choose at least three employees to rotate into a different job.

5. Assess the Readiness and Skill Level of Employees

Before rotating employees into new jobs, you need to assess their readiness and skill level. If the employee is not prepared for a job role, they might not succeed and might even damage the business growth.

6. Job Rotation Period

Assessing the duration of job rotation is a significant factor. Make sure to decide on the job rotation period before starting the job rotation program. Choosing a time frame that provides employees enough time to learn everything about their jobs is important. Also, assure that the rotation period is not too long to avoid the employees getting bored with a new role, and it is not too short because they will not have enough time to learn the responsibilities and duties of their job.

7. Develop a Training Plan

Every employee who is rotating to a new position should receive some training before starting the new role. Training programs can give them a broader understanding of their jobs.

You can use various methods to fulfill the training requirements of your employees, like online learning, classroom training, or on-the-job training. It will help employees learn specific skills for their new jobs. It also ensures that your workers are ready for their roles and do not face any issues while working in a new post.

8. Implement Regular Feedback

You should provide regular feedback to employees about their performance and progress in the role they are rotating to. It will help them understand their work, and they will improve their performance in future projects.

9. Offer Rewards and Recognition

Recognize and reward the employees for their hard work and dedication to the job rotation program. It will motivate them to give their best and contribute to the program’s success.


Job rotation is a process of moving the employees throughout the organization to achieve the target goals. This strategy also helps employees in developing their skills and expertise.

However, job rotation does not benefit all organizations. Have a look at the job rotation advantages and disadvantages mentioned in the above sections to know whether this technique is beneficial for your organization or not.

Make sure that you rotate the employees with a carefully drafted job rotation strategy to target your goals in a realistic manner.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.


Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.