5 Pros and Cons of a Job Rotation System

Many employees want career advancement, and that’s a fact. They will look for such opportunities elsewhere without the resources to do so. The reality is that you can retain any competent, hardworking employee. All you have to do is show that they can step into new roles.

Plus, who knows? It could determine whether someone stays or leaves. Employees can acquire new skills without switching employers simply by rotating jobs. Job rotation, however, is not a “one size fits all” strategy. In this guide, you’ll know the pros and cons of such an approach. 

After reading them, you can evaluate whether implementing a job rotation system is a wise move for your company in the long run. 

What is Job Rotation? 

The concept becomes relatively straightforward when job rotation is broken down into two terms. In short, businesses use a strategy to let workers switch between jobs. The employee will carry out the duties of a different position for a predetermined time before returning to their original role. 

Although, in theory, job rotation could be a good tactic, creating an effective program requires meeting several conditions. The following three actions are necessary for any work rotation program to be a success:

  • What are the program’s objectives?

  • Decide who will rotate jobs and what new positions they will take while designing the program.

  • Evaluate the program’s performance - is your organisation and employees gaining from job rotation? 

It’s also important to remember that job rotations and promotions are not the same. Successful work rotations can lead to promotions, but this isn’t a given.

Job Rotation Benefits And Drawbacks

The process of creating a job rotation program has both pros and cons. Since this approach won’t work for every business, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks listed below before allowing your staff to switch roles.

Benefits of Job Rotation 

1. Stops monotony and stagnation

As time goes on, businesses are taking employee engagement more seriously. In line with the pandemic, a survey showed worldwide employee engagement dropped from 22 to 20% between 2019 and 2020. 

This indicates that a significant portion of the global workforce isn’t entirely interested in their current roles. They might be tempted to explore new challenges elsewhere. A job rotation program can address this issue. Employees given new duties may feel more engaged at work and stay with the organisation.

2. Eliminates fatigue

All jobs have the potential to be exhausting, but job rotation can be especially useful in industries that require a lot of labour. Rotating tasks is beneficial for employees in industries like construction and delivery. 

When everyone in the team does each task alternately, fatigue is less probable. For instance, if your employee is accustomed to lifting hefty objects, it might be helpful for them to perform some less physically demanding tasks, such as paperwork.

3. Emphasises the strengths of employees

Managers can’t often expect their staff to perform perfectly. Each employee is always on the path to realising their potential by identifying their strengths and areas for development.

It’s important to note that job rotation pinpoints the tasks your staff is most good at. If there is job rotation, they can end up in a place where they are more comfortable than they were previously.

4. Encourages growth

59% of millennials search for new employment to discover new possibilities to advance professionally. Many businesses like to see their staff members gain expertise and responsibility over time without relocating.

Job rotation gives staff members new skills and, as a result, conveys that the business supports professional advancement. Employees who believe this is a crucial principle of their workplace are more suited to fit in with the culture and not feel the need to relocate.

5. A backup strategy for turnover

Job rotation may help to solve this problem in the future, even if staff turnover might cost you time and money. The more adaptable an employee is, the less urgent it will be to fill a vacancy when someone leaves your organisation.

You’re more to hire internally if your present workforce checks all the boxes in the job description.

Photo by: Ron Lach | Pexels

Drawbacks of Job Rotation

1. It can be expensive in terms of both time and money

Employee training is by no means a cheap undertaking. In reality, businesses frequently invest thousands of dollars and even weeks in training new hires.

An Association for Talent Development survey found that each employee’s training takes roughly 33.5 hours and costs, on average, $1,252. Companies need to consider that job rotation will increase training costs and requirements.

2. It may hurt your business.

Implementing a work rotation program can harm your business in the worst scenario. Employees may be more prone to errors when stepping outside their comfort zones. Job rotation may lead to unsatisfied customers, a stressed workforce, and sluggish operations.

3. Not suitable for all industries

Specific industries would gain more from employment rotation than others. Additionally, some businesses won’t get anything from it at all. Job rotation won’t be advantageous for professions requiring a high skill level in a particular role (such as medicine and law). Also, those that need years of training will not gain anything.

4. Employees might put in worse work

It’s also important to remember that not every employee can benefit from job rotation. Some individuals may be successful and comfortable in their existing function, and there may not be someone who’s a better fit.

Being required to switch occupations may make some individuals less motivated to learn new skills, which impacts their performance and overall satisfaction as an employee.

5. It won’t solve every issue

To believe that job rotation would address every issue your business encounters is naive. Various factors can influence employee engagement, turnover, and unfavourable company culture.

While job switching can be helpful, it shouldn’t be a quick fix. Before making significant changes, addressing the underlying causes of your employee’s issues is crucial.

Key Takeaway 

Job rotation isn’t for everyone. For various reasons, specific industries don’t require (or simply should not) to rotate their workforce.

In light of the above discussion, organisations from relevant industries should employ cutting-edge software, such as RosterElf, to comprehend their goals, develop their work rotation program, implement it, and assess its effectiveness.

This will make it easier for you and your managers to implement measures and increase the likelihood of increased employee management, retention, and engagement.

RosterElf: Rostering Made Easy

RosterElf's cloud-based payroll and rostering software truly is a game-changer. Say goodbye to roster conflicts and chase employees for their availability to work. Instead, employees can easily update their availability to work and notify managers about it through a smartphone app. 

Staff set the times and days they can work, and RosterElf does the rest. Our software then automatically suggests available employees to fill shifts. 

What are you waiting for? Time to take your rostering and payroll game to the next level and boost your business' performance. 

To get a clearer view of how our app works, enjoy 15-day access to our tool for free!

Have Questions?

We Have The Answers!

What is a job rotation system?

Job rotation is a strategy in which employees switch roles for a set period before returning to their original positions. This helps them gain new skills and experiences within the same company.

What are the benefits of job rotation?

It reduces monotony, prevents fatigue, highlights employee strengths, encourages growth, and acts as a backup for turnover, improving overall employee engagement and retention.

What are the drawbacks of job rotation?

It can be costly and time-consuming, may cause operational issues, isn't suitable for all industries, can lead to decreased employee performance, and won't solve all business problems.

Is job rotation suitable for all industries?

No, it's not ideal for industries requiring specialised skills or extensive training, such as medicine or law, where switching roles isn't feasible or beneficial.

Important Notice

The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on RosterElf's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice.

RosterElf is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article.

RosterElf disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.