8 fundamental benefits of Job swapping at work

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No matter how cozy the cocoon might be, one day it must break through and come out of the comfort zone to experience the world outside. Roles Swap is one such breakthrough management initiatives that helps unveil the great opportunities lying outside of your typical area of work.

Role swap or Job swap (used as synonyms in this article) is prevalent in larger organizations for its multiple benefits. It is followed across departments, businesses, or with in a department. The fundamental idea is interchanging roles of the employees to learn, understand, and operate being in a different role. This enables employees, thereby the business processes to explore wide range of techniques used in other processes for the benefit of their own. Whether it is between two employees within an area, or between different areas, it renders mutual benefits.

Roles swapping is done, as illustrated in the following example.

Job swapping

Job swapping:- objectives and benefits

The different objectives and benefits of such an initiative are as follows

  • Skill Transfer / Knowledge transfer
  • Back up creation
  • Networking
  • Boosts creativity
  • Job Rotation
  • Less Complaints
  • Discovering new interests
  • Bigger perspective


Skill and Knowledge transfer:

A boost to the shrinking awareness in the workforce. Working in roles other than your own, working across departments leads to an abundant information and skill sharing. Better working techniques used in one dept. can be implemented in another bolster confidence.

Widening Experience:

Job swapping is  a sure fire way to widen your experience horizon, without even getting a higher ranking or moving to a different department through the internal job postings.

Back up creation:

One of the ripple effects of role swapping is, it ensures that there is proper back up to every role in a department and across different functional areas, in the event of an unwanted situation, or absence of an employee.


Networking itself is a beneficial strategy for every business, and role swapping further creates a good platform to exchange information, develop contacts and operate efficiently.

It also helps in identifying potential candidates for different projects.

Boosts creativity:

Working on the same task day in and out can make it more mundane. Breakthrough ideas generate when you break the routine. The process of role swapping allows the employees to think beyond the limited scope of their tasks and become more innovative. It helps develop the tendency of practical application of the knowledge acquired through this learning process.

Role Progression:

All the dynamic employees wanting role change can benefit from this practice. Although role progression does not equal promotion, yet you are presented with opportunities to explore your capabilities. This takes you one step closer to your career progression.

Bigger Perspective:

Roles swapping process directly aids the employees in broadening their outlook to view the bigger picture. Also, there is less chance for ambiguity. Its gets easier for you to connect your role with the organizational objectives when your perspective is wider.

Less complaints:

Now, it’s evident from the benefits that job swap trains people to think broadly. This wider perspective is followed by a realistic approach to viewing and dealing with tasks at hand. This helps in understanding the challenges faced by their peers too, in completing their work. Employees don’t tend to get caught up with minor issues and therefore refrain from constant complaining.


How to make roles swapping effective?

Now that we understand, how this initiative is useful, making the process effective is equally essential. The fundamental elements that help sustain and gain more control over roles swapping are,

  • Collaboration
  • Duration/ Regularity
  • Tenure of an employee
  • Setting expectations
  • Incentivize ideas


One of the benefits of role swapping is collaborating, and networking with people outside of your business area. For this to happen, departments should make prior collaborations across other functional areas, to set up, stabilize, and make the process smooth for all the employees engaged in swapping roles. Also, while collaborating with other business processes, relativity and compatibility must be kept in mind.


A balanced approach must be followed to ensure that we do not hamper the productivity of the regular business operations. Fixing the duration helps maximize the available resources and makes the employees plan their work effectively. Also, these sessions must be regular but not too repetitive that they begin to disrupt the normal business.

Tenure of an employee:

Engaging in role swapping process requires a thorough understanding of your own work and your departmental objectives. To a new executive, this process is only a distraction. It is ideal and effective only if a tenured employee is involved in this.

Setting expectations:

To make it more prototypical, it is important to have your expectations set in advance. As an employee, know what your boss is expecting from you, out of this initiative. Clearly defined purpose, documented procedures, networks and contacts, assigning real targets, updating the progress etc. having all these intact will make the process more productive.

Incentivize ideas:

Most importantly, rather than just implementing the program, it is important to seek real ideas, addressing key problem areas. Employers/ Supervisors must give proper directives to employees to focus on gaps, improvement areas in the new role. Giving small perks to the employees who bring new ideas, will make it more interesting.


In conclusion,

It is true that things always seem brighter on the other side. However, it possibly might change when we know the reality of how things work on the other side too and realize who and what best fits in it.

Staying in the same role metaphorically makes your perspective smaller, leaves you demotivated, less ambitious, contented with less. Roles swap is an opportunity to widen your understanding of the anatomy of different departments/ roles. So, it acts like a therapy to those that are looking for a change, and to those who aren’t the best fit in their current role too.

Overall, the process aligns all departments to work with interlinked purposes leading to collective progress!

Know more about how to foster creativity in your organization at both macro and micro levels


Rajeshwari Ogirala

Rajeshwari is a writer, Biz Development Manager. Passionate about people and personal development. Believes in sharing her knowledge and instilling positive work culture in people.

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