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  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: June 2018

57 - Job rotation

from Section 3 - Activities and tools

Summary

JOB ROTATION CAN help you to provide additional opportunities for members of your LKS team. By carrying out different job roles within your service, team members are able to build upon their existing experience and develop new skills. In addition, job rotation can encourage greater understanding across your different teams and share learning and knowledge more widely. Bennett (2003) defines job rotation as the systematic and planned movement of staff and indicates that there are two forms of this approach: withinfunction rotation and cross-function rotation.

Within-function rotation

Within-function rotation is the movement of staff between jobs with comparable responsibilities or within the same area of your service; an example of this could be rotating a newly appointed subject librarian between different subject areas, thus enabling them to carry out the same activities, e.g. training, but within an alternative subject area and with different user groups.

Cross-function rotation

The above differs from cross-function rotation, which describes the movement of staff members between different areas of the service. For example, you could provide opportunities for members of your web development team to work in reader services. In this scenario, experience gained in a cross-function rotation could provide excellent learning which could influence the design of the website as a direct result of the experience of working more closely with front-line staff and user groups.

Opportunities

Whilst opportunities for rotation may be fewer for smaller services, job rotation can enhance the knowledge base of individuals, develop greater understanding between team members and create opportunities for innovation. Smaller services could provide job rotation opportunities for staff to work in all areas, which would mean that staff would be able to cover roles when needed. Bennett (2003) also indicates that providing opportunities for staff to work in a range of areas can relieve boredom, increase motivation levels, improve productivity and keep staff engaged. By systematically moving employees around, individuals develop a wider skill set which can only enhance your service.

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