Keith Tindall - Accredited Associate of the IIB
Article Source note : CONFESSIONS OF AN UNMANAGER; by Debra Boggan and Anna VerSleeg
HAVING EMPLOYEES SPEND TIME doing different jobs offers a dual payoff; They learn new skills and find out more about how the whole organization operates. And they do so without losing any time at training sessions.
But mandating such job rotation probably won’t work because most people don’t learn as well when you force them to do something.
For a better approach, consider this job rotation program used at a Nortel plant in North Carolina: Work teams’ post temporary-help positions for which any employee can apply.
The notices describe jobs, list their requirements and say how long the rotations will last. For example, the MIS department was falling behind one quarter. They posted a notice that they needed someone to fill in for a couple of weeks.The host team interviews candidates and chooses one. For the MIS job, the team selected Jennifer, who worked in production. She had taken some programming classes at night, so it was a chance for her to test her new skills.
The “rotators” receive no change in salary and no one fills their regular position. So while Jennifer was gone, others in the production department compensated for her vacancy. Those who rotate jobs tell co-workers about their temporary assignment. When Jennifer returned to her production job, she described in detail what she had done—and learned— at MIS.
Suggestion: Limit rotations to minimize schedule disruptions that too much job switching might cause.