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*Job Rotations.
*WhatWhenHowRelated StrategiesExamplesMore InfoOther Strategies
* What It Is.
Job Rotation is a career development strategy where an individual temporarily moves laterally into an established or "shadow" position. An employee may complete a series of Job Rotations.

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* When To Use It.
* To broaden an individual's knowledge of other functions and departments in the organization.
* To prepare an individual for career advancement.
* To maximize an individual's exposure to customers by moving him or her into positions that require customer interaction.
* To motivate and challenge an individual who has been on a job for a long time.
* To cross-train members of a team.

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* *
* Link job rotations to the organizational goals and individual learning needs.
* Establish expectations and learning goals with the individual before the job rotation.
* Check with the individual periodically to ensure expectations are being met.
* At the end of the job rotation, meet with the individual to discuss lessons learned, how these lessons can be applied to the individual's current job. Also discuss how the individual can educate others about what was learned during the job rotation.

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* Relationship To Other Learning Strategies.
As described below, learning strategies are often used in combination with one another or may be closely linked to one another.

Special Assignments: The objective of Job Rotation is to broaden skills while Special Assignments can result in the sharpening of skills. Job Rotations usually require the employee to suspend his or her current job duties. Special Assignments may be performed in addition to a current job.

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* Examples.
Department of Defense (DOD) - Defense Leadership and Management Program

The Defense Leadership and Management Program offers rotational assignments to GS-14s and GS-15s lasting12 months. It includes Mentoring and continuing education requirements. The program develops civilian leaders with a DOD-wide capability and has prepared participants to assume broader responsibility on national security issues.

Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA)

HCFA uses Job Rotations to help Human Resource staff members learn the various functions of human resource development within HCFA. Program participants use what they learn to benefit their immediate work unit. HCFA also uses job rotation as part of its continuous learning program. Support staff completes 2 rotational assignments (4 months each). These assignments help develop the skills and knowledge necessary for entry into professional positions.

Eli Lilly and Company

Eli Lilly and Company uses job rotation more than most other large organizations. While job rotation is not a formal "program" at Lilly, rotating employees from job to job has, for many years, been viewed as an integral part of the company's culture of professional development. Eli Lilly conducted a study of job rotation within its financial division. The study found that employees in the financial division take an average of one nonfinancial assignment during their careers, and that assignment usually lasts 1.5 years. At the time of this study, most rotations consisted of lateral moves rather than vertical moves. The study indicated that individuals who reached manager or executive averaged more time in Job Rotations and fewer years between promotions.

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* Where To Go For More Information.
Web Resources

Job Rotation: Cost, Benefits, and Stylized Facts White Paper


C. Berryman-Fink. The Manager's Desk Reference. New York: AMACON, 1989.

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* Other Individual Learning Stategies.
Following are links to the other Individual Learning Strategies:
* Special Assignments
* Coaching
* Mentoring
* Individual Development Plan
* Manager as Teacher
* Learning Groups (Teams)
* Self-Development

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