HR INSIGHT With Paula Kyabaggu Mukama
JOB rotation is a process of preparing employees at a lower level to replace someone at the higher level.
It is practiced in corporate sector to avoid boredom and complacency in employees.
Companies practice it to train employees at various levels so that they can do varied jobs and become good leaders.
It helps in understanding problems faced by different employees at different levels and the required improvements. It is practiced to enrich the knowledge and job of a worker.
Job rotation is considered to be a powerful tool to prepare leaders who understand various aspects of business and thus can steer the companies.
Apart from being an enabler for this important activity, how the function of HR itself fits into this scheme may be a matter of interest. Whenever we talk of job rotation, there are many cases where people from other functions are moved to HR and prove their mettle.
I believe that the most important requirement for a professional to be successful in any function is a positive mindset.
While, a positive mindset makes one successful, a positive HR person can make himself as well as many others succeed.
It is not difficult to attract astute business people to HR if they are shown the value in this role and are convinced about the radical contribution HR can make.
Certainly, they need to observe and feel that the top management considers HR a significant contributor. Functions other than HR are themselves internal customers.
What HR does is to support, guide and facilitate operations. The output of HR goes to operations for their use and benefit.
However, operationsâ€™ output is not for the HR. For this reason, having assessed what they received from HR, it may be fine to move professionals from other functions to HR.
This will help them address those issues on which they expected HR to focus, but did not get the desired response.
Having experienced the pain, they understand where the shoe pinches and are, therefore, able to address practical issues effectively.
However, it may not be equally practical for an HR person to shift to other roles. It is difficult for them to pick up operational intricacies.
Very often we hear that a line supervisor is the best HR person because for any employee they are the first point of contact.
Has anybody ever said or heard that HR person is the best inspector, production man or maintenance manager?
In a slightly different perspective, it may be worthwhile to put young HR professionals in other functions as a part of their extended orientation programme.
This would help them understand customer expectations before assuming direct and bigger roles in HR.
On the other hand, strengthening an under-performing HR department by sending high-potential executives into HR can certainly be of great benefit.
But much greater value can be added by making HR a standard rotation for extremely promising leaders to prepare future CEOs, who will be able to drive the organisation through smart talent management.
At the senior level rotation helps widen your perspective and prepare you to take on greater challenges.
Many times, rotation is practiced to prepare a junior employee to take on the duties of his senior successfully, and thus keep the hierarchy going.
Managers also prefer such rotation because it makes them well equipped for the next level in the organisation.
It helps them plan the upward curves in their career.
Job rotation brings you satisfaction and trains you for promotions if you are efficient. It makes an organisation more efficient and protects the business when a key employee is absent or busy on another task.
With every employee able to do nearly every possible job in the organisation, productivity is delightfully enhanced.