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Dear Workforce How Do We Implement Job Rotation That Serves Both Top Performers and People Who Have Hit a Performance Plateau?

How do we apply a job rotation policy to provide opportunities for both 'star performers' and 'plateaued employees'? What should be the ideal duration for a rotation?
September 7, 2011
Related Topics: Career Development, Employee Career Development, Workforce Planning, Dear Workforce

Dear Fair-Minded:

I think your issue goes deeper than figuring out a job rotation policy. You want to keep giving the right opportunities and challenges to your stars. At the same time, you want to help your "plateaued" employees find opportunities that put them back on the path to stardom.

We all want two things from our jobs: opportunity and positive support. The key is to find the right opportunity for each employee or manager. Some people want to become leaders or managers. Others value the chance to be more creative, while for others the motivation is making more money. Every employee or manager, from entry level to the CEO, wants opportunity from their job.

The second thing we want from our jobs is positive support. We want to feel appreciated. When an employee or manager receives both, it is absolutely amazing what they can accomplish.

And what happens when we don't receive opportunity and positive support? We are not very happy. We might come to work, but we aren't happy. We have become a "bye-bye" person. These people are everywhere. They tend to hang out with the grumpy zombies, infecting young, energetic employees with their negativity and constant whining. You can easily spot them at work. They tend to hang around vending machines, break rooms and smoking areas. If they work on a computer, they play solitaire. At least once a week they will have a dentist appointment, sick dog, outpatient elective surgery or jury duty. They play a lot of sudoku during the day.

Here are a few ideas that will help you make the right choices.

  1. Talk to both your stars and those who have reached a plateau. Find out about the opportunities they are seeking. Have them write down what it is they want from their jobs.

  2. Give the employees ownership of the rotation policy. They should be part of the process. When we have ownership and responsibility for something, we start to care. When employees start to care, the next step is passion. Your ultimate goal is for all your employees to develop passion for their jobs.

  3. Communicate with your employees about the rotation policy. What are their ideas? What works for them? What works for you?

  4. As a manager, ask yourself one question: How can I make the other people around me more successful? As you put the rotation policy together, answer that question and act on it and you will have a very successful team. If you don't care who gets the credit, and if you learn to support and take care of the person next to you, the entire work environment will quickly change.

  5. Don't be afraid to change. If you try one rotation policy and it is not working for everyone, then try something different. Sometimes we have to admit we made a mistake. We must slow down, reassess and then try a new path.

  6. Teach your employees to take ownership of their happiness and passion. Too many times, employees let other people's actions or words determine their happiness. Help your employees understand that happiness is a choice.

We have no control over many issues in the workplace. We always have control of our attitude and how we react to those issues. We do have a choice to wake up every morning happier and more energized. Help your employees and managers make the choices in the job rotation policy that will create the right opportunities for everyone.

SOURCE: Joel Zeff, author, Make the Right Choice: Creating a Positive, Innovative and Productive Work Life, January 8, 2008.

LEARN MORE: Please read how BAE Systems uses job rotation to encourage organization-wide learning.

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.

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Dear Workforce Newsletter


 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.

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