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How-to: How job rotation works

Job rotation can help turn young employees into executives, offer longtime colleagues some variety in their daily work, and deepen their knowledge in various areas. Unfortunately, the supposedly high costs and considerable organizational effort required mean that job rotation does not take place in companies very often. However, job rotation can offer a lot and be implemented much more easily than expected; it’s time for some new perspectives.

Job rotation – what is it?

In classic job rotation, employees change to a different position or function, either regularly or for a limited time. A distinction is also made between job enlargement and job enrichment.

“If this change occurs within a similar skill level, this is referred to as activity expansion (job enlargement, horizontal restructuring). If it concerns activities requiring different high-level skills, then it refers to work enrichment (job enrichment, vertical restructuring). Job rotation thus represents a work organization that arises from structuring work via activity expansion and work enrichment.” (Wikipedia)

Employees can get to know different positions, get a view of the big picture, and receive comprehensive training. Successful job rotation can also help advance personal development, facilitate employee substitutions, promote preventative health care, provide variety and empower team building. However, the pros and cons of job rotation depend so much on the individual organization and implementation.

That’s classic job rotation; so far, so good.

The high organizational effort and training costs make many companies shy away from even trying at all. This is unfortunately very short-sighted because job rotation definitely pays off in the medium term. There are also many good reasons to invest in job rotation.

Job rotation – why do it?

Job rotations can and should be implemented in such a way that they fit the respective company and its employees. Done correctly, they offer enormous potential: they are a smart and, above all, concrete lever for more changes in perspective, innovation and internal mobility in the digital age.

Specifically, that means:

  • Change of perspective and silo removal: A strategically implemented job rotation enables a change in perspective of employees, and helps them get out of their silos. This benefits not only the individual, but also the entire organization.
  • Innovation: Job rotation can be an important lever for innovation. Changing departments, locations or subject areas and mixing interdisciplinary teams raises completely new questions – and solutions!
  • Employee motivation & engagement: Job rotation not only improves the quality of employees, but also increases their satisfaction, motivation, and commitment to the company. Those who continue to learn internally and break new ground have been shown to stay longer and be more loyal.

These are just a few good reasons why a job rotation is worthwhile – now it just needs to be implemented in everyday life.

The concepts are there – but the implementation isn’t.

In classic job rotation:

  • Organization takes a lot of time.
  • Coordination is often complex and time-consuming.
  • Manual implementation of the concepts is not very scalable.
  • A top-down approach to job rotation planning is the opposite of agile.

It is understandable that implementing this process is the hang-up for many companies, and is thus not appealing.

But how can job rotation work?

We have a solution: with our software flex:workz you can start job rotation easily and directly with a bottom-up approach, so everyone can become more agile together.

Implementation of job rotation with flex:workz:

  • Hardly any time or planning required: Smart matching supports coordination – employees propose solutions themselves
  • Scalability and extension of mentoring instruments: By addressing the considerable (unknown) potential within a company, job rotation becomes scalable.
  • Modern bottom-up approach: Employees find the right colleagues and options for job rotation using their own initiative.
  • Valuable Analytics: Exciting analysis of hidden expertise, interests and potential in the company.

Marion Hellebrandt explains in an interview what a job rotation can look like.


“So, I can find exactly the area in which I like to work and can bring my strengths along as well.”– job rotation at Tandemploy

“Silo-free work at eye level” – HASPA relies on networking

Swapping, Shadowing and Co. – The different types of job rotation