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Broader Exposure

Many Companies Missing out on Benefits of Job Rotation

Despite Acknowledging the Upside, Most CFOs Don't Promote Role Rotation in Finance

Toronto - In the quest to develop and retain staff, finance executives recognize the value of allowing employees to move into roles in different areas of the company. Chief financial officers (CFOs) in a Management Resources survey said the benefits of job rotation include giving staff broader exposure to the business, gaining fresh perspectives and enhancing recruiting and retention, professional development and succession planning.

However, many organizations have yet to put role rotation into practice. The majority of respondents, 53 per cent, said they do not promote these opportunities to their finance teams.

CFOs were asked, "What do you consider to be the greatest benefit of role rotation in companies?" Their responses:

Offers staff exposure to different business areas - 29%
Gains fresh perspectives on existing roles - 27%
Enhances recruiting and retention - 18%
Accelerates professional development - 12%
Strengthens succession planning - 12%
Don't know - 3%
101%*

* Total does not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

CFOs were also asked, "Do you promote role rotation for your financial teams?" Their responses*:

Yes - 47%
No - 53%
100%

Following are the areas where CFOs who promote job rotation allow financial staff to rotate into:

• Accounting: 72 per cent
• Accounting operations (e.g., payroll, accounts payable): 49 per cent
• Compliance: 47 per cent
• Finance: 42 per cent
• Tax: 40 per cent
• Internal Audit: 33 per cent

"Role rotation is a professional and business development opportunity that most companies do not take advantage of," said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. "It is an effective way for employees to access new skills and expertise for future advancement within the company, while opening the business to fresh insight and perspective through collaboration."

King added, allowing staff to experience different areas of the business can also serve as useful means of attracting top employees for new positions. "Driven professionals want to be a part of an environment that promotes career growth and advancement; role rotation offers them the chance to challenge and evolve their current skills, while preparing them for future leadership positions."

Who executives could talk to about whether role rotation is right for their team:

• Employees: Do staff members want the ability to move among different business units? A "yes" means employers should look more closely at offering these opportunities – and find out which rotational roles interest workers.

• Line managers: Solicit recommendations from your department's supervisors about potential job rotation candidates. Explain to managers the benefits of bringing in individuals from other parts of the business, and ask about the skills they would look for in these arrangements.

• Consultants: Consulting and project professionals offer an external perspective and have observed what has worked at other firms. Tap their insights about how your organization could benefit from this type of program and best practices for implementation.

• Network contacts: If your peers outside the company have overseen rotational opportunities, ask them about do's and don'ts, benefits, and drawbacks.

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