Job rotation is usually used just, to gain a broader overview of different job tasks a team makes for great customer experience. Working with different companies gave me insight into the general approach to employee rotation.
The most used case is during an onboarding a new team member: most often, a compact timeframe from a day and up to a week where an employee goes to another department to basically watch and observe different tasks and team dynamics.
The second most used case would be during the talent development program or, as we call it within Gecko, a Leadership Development Program. This is a much more comprehensive approach to talent nurturing and takes more time and resources to accomplish. During such programs, the timeframe extends for up to two months for individual job rotation and there could be multiple rotations.
Although the basic timeframes and used cases are similar across companies, the devil is in the details as with most things in life. Since every company has a variation of the program, I believe there is no single best recipe. However, there are common similarities between the most successful ones. These are oriented towards specific outcomes:
- Enhancing one’s connections with different teams
- Expediting one’s job experiences based on real job tasks and situations
- Keeping a clear track on the program’s progress
Enhancing one’s connections is a crucial step. Working together for a longer period of time and overcoming many hard obstacles is a sure way of developing strong connections. As a company, however, you want to develop these connections on the company-wide level also.
To achieve this while on a job rotation, an employee had to accomplish specific tasks that were on top of the tasks he or she was given within the new team. Tasks were oriented toward getting to know the team members and often achieving funny challenges. Moreover, the employee had the opportunity to set his or her own tasks based on his or her own ideas.
The second outcome focuses on real job experiences. Watching and observing can get anybody only so far. The best programs included the employee within a team on a real project that had real deadlines and goals to achieve. This takes more preparation and coordination with the new team in advance. However, it makes the world of a difference in the end. To help smother the transition an employee was often given a mentor and a buddy: a mentor for some professional advice and a buddy for socializing.
Every good rotation program needs a common place to keep track of the progress. Trust is based on transparency and this means that all of the key players have to have some way of arranging individual’s employee program. I believe the best way to achieve this is through a kind of a common online solution that can manage multiple programs at once.
This was only a small part in a broader picture of employee experience. However, it could give your team the edge it needs to be the best. What about your experiences regarding job rotation programs? Does your company offer one? Can an employee enlist in one even well after the onboarding?
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