Industry Trends

Rotational Assignments – The 2 Main Purposes

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A company is only as good as its employees. Hiring quality workers can increase a company’s ability to reach operational objectives and help it thrive in today’s challenging economy. One way to boost human capital is through a rotational program: a consecutive series of professional assignments designed with specific employee or business outcomes in mind.

Companies typically use rotational assignments for two main purposes: talent development and project work.

Using Rotational Assignments for Talent Development

To boost in-house talent, employers are investing in rotational assignments for four more targeted purposes:

  • Leadership development. Rotational assignments allow future leaders to acquire cross-functional knowledge of mission-critical functions and develop agility by varying roles, departments, scope, units, sectors, objectives and job locations.
  • Knowledge transfer. Hands-on learning is critical to knowledge retention. Employees sent on rotational assignments can acquire local business knowledge and processes.
  • Recruitment. Companies also use rotational assignments to attract new talent. A Wakefield Research study revealed that 82% of millennials believe relocation will be required if they want to advance in their careers. Giving new hires the opportunity to work at multiple locations within a short period of time allows them to explore various job functions and can help them determine what career path they want to pursue at a company.
  • Retention. Rotational assignments can be used to encourage employee engagement and loyalty by providing opportunities to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, work with knowledgeable colleagues and contribute to interesting projects.

Meet Critical Business Objectives with Rotational Assignments

Companies also use rotational assignments to fill skill gaps on projects. These are projects that, without the right leadership or skills, would fall short of their objectives – for example, internal manufacturing process improvement that require Lean Six Sigma experience, or products for clients that require niche engineering skills. Companies are hard-pressed to find qualified STEM talent, so when the necessary skills and experience aren’t available onsite, companies can use alternative solutions. Sending employees on rotational assignments can perform the double function of providing needed abilities at a fraction of the cost of hiring external talent while simultaneously challenging and developing the employees.

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