Lost your password?


Dear Workforce How Do We Formalize Job Rotation to Boost Retention?

Dear Pre-Emptive Strike:

You are off to a good start, having already articulated your long-term goals for a job rotation program. We suggest you follow these steps to develop a top-notch program that will support organizational objectives:

Clearly define objectives of the job rotation program.
• Ensure that an organizational need exists for the skill sets typically developed by rotation programs.
• Consider the relationship of the rotation program and other related HR initiatives (e.g., job enrichment).

Obtain support from key stakeholders.
• Link rotation with key business needs and/or core competencies.
• Ensure that key stakeholders agree with the program’s objectives.

Carefully select jobs to be included in the rotation program.
• Ensure that positions support the targeted program objectives (e.g., learning objectives).
• Identify the developmental opportunities each job assignment provides.

Link the rotation program with career development processes.
• Create tailored developmental goals for rotation participants.
• Customize rotation timelines based on the time needed to achieve developmental benefits.
• Ensure rotated employees are given appropriate work.

Ensure appropriate compensation during the rotation program.
• Ensure compensation is equitable and motivating but not overly inflated.

Manage and target communications.
• Design communications to achieve stakeholder buy-in, share information appropriately and align messages.

Measure results and monitor return on investment.
• Measure program performance against goals; demonstrate that rotation has a direct, value-added impact.

Avoid common pitfalls.
• Decrease workload costs by managing rotation timing, and keep rotation time frames flexible.
• Decrease “learning curve” costs by establishing and following clear operating procedures.
• Bill costs to managers that use the rotation program, if possible.
• Plan post-rotation program assignments, being sure to avoid underemployment (ideally, new skills are used immediately).
• Consider rotation plans for female and minority employees (avoid glass ceiling).

Once you have some success stories about the program, be sure to leverage them externally. Share successes in recruitment ads, during job candidate interviews and at industry meetings.

SOURCE: Elizabeth S. Marshall, consultant, human resource management, Buck Consultants, New York, and John Furcon, principal, human resource management, Buck Consultants, Chicago, June 15, 2007

LEARN MORE: Please read a related article on motivating managers to take rotational assignments.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

Ask a Question
Dear Workforce Newsletter