As finance executives look to retain talent, an increasing number of businesses have been allowing professionals to take over various roles within a business to give staff more exposure to all operations, to see new perspectives within the business, as well as furthering professional development, succession planning, and recruiting.

However, a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey found that a majority of respondents (56 percent) do not offer such opportunities for their staff.

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

 

Yes

44%

No

56%

 

100%

 

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

Offers staff exposure to different business areas

23%

Gains fresh perspectives on existing roles

23%

Accelerates professional development

19%

Strengthens succession planning

18%

Enhances recruiting and retention

16%

Don't know

2%

 

101%

* Total not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

The following areas are where CFOs who allow job rotation most often move their professionals:

  • Accounting operations (e.g., payroll, accounts payable): 41 percent
  • Accounting: 37 percent
  • Finance: 20 percent
  • Internal audit: 11 percent
  • Compliance: 10 percent
  • Tax: 9 percent

"More companies can benefit from role rotation than are currently practicing it," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, in a statement. "This is an effective way to strengthen the organization by providing access to diverse viewpoints, building employees' skills and grooming future leaders."
"Top performers want to work at firms that help them grow and advance their careers," Hird added. "Role rotation allows organizations to attract and motivate in-demand professionals looking for new challenges or to round out their skill sets in preparation for leadership positions."

Robert Half Management Resources suggests talking to the following groups within a business to decide if role rotation is right for a 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.

 For more on Robert Half Management Resources, head to their site here.