Job Rotation

What is Job Rotation?

Job rotation is an approach to enhance work motivation where employees are moved from one job to another, so as to reduce boredom, and provide an employee a chance to learn additional skills. Under the scheme, an employee can get out from a narrow specialist position to a generalist cadre and become a more broad-based versatile worker.

A worker in a warehouse might unload trucks on Monday, carry incoming inventory to storage on Tuesday, verify invoices on Wednesday, pull outgoing inventory from storage on Thursday, and load trucks on Friday. Thus the jobs do not change, but instead, workers move from job to job. Unfortunately, for this very reason, job rotation has not been very successful in enhancing employee motivation or satisfaction.

Jobs Opens in new window that are amenable to rotation tend to be relatively standard and routine. Workers who are rotated to a ‘new’ job may be more satisfied at first, but satisfaction soon wanes. Although many companies (among them American Cyanamid, Bethlehem Steel, Ford, Prudential Insurance, TRW, and Western Electric) have tried job rotation, it is most often used as a training device to improve worker skills and flexibility.