In Germany job rotation is not yet very prevalent. Only 14 per cent of businesses offer models of this type, where employees swap jobs for a limited period of time.
The advantage: the employees get to know many different areas of responsibility and functional areas within a team or a department – and along the way they gain useful knowledge, making them even more valuable for the business.
Annette Grabbe, commercial manager at innogy, has taken over the job of Joachim Schneider, Head of Technology & Operations in the Grid & Infrastructure division.
Looking at the bigger picture in this way makes it easier for the employees to gain a better overview of the interrelations between the different organisational units within the company. innogy has encouraged this with different models for years. For the first time, an employee now takes on the job of a divisional Board member and works at the top level of the company for a week.
While Annette Grabbe is taking over the job of divisional Board member Joachim Schneider, another colleague will take over her position. Marie to Baben, engineer and consultant in the grid development team. This will be the first time for her to try out a role with a commercial focus.
Andrea Dorsch-Kellermann, Diversity Officer, and Joachim Schneider, Head of Technology & Operations, have championed this pilot project.
Key tasks on the to-do list
"Actively addressing employee and management development is very important to me", Schneider points out. "I want to give motivated colleagues the opportunity to gain leadership experience within a limited timeframe, to take on more responsibility and to try new things."
During a handover meeting Annette Grabbe and Joachim Schneider talked about the next items on their respective to-do lists and general tasks their jobs entail. "I am handing over several key topics from my area of responsibility to Annette Grabbe", says Schneider.
This includes the ongoing activities as sponsor of Digital@Grid, gaining an insight into Technology and Operations at team meetings and during Gemba walks and preparing the G&I performance dialogue, which is due to take place in early November."
Annette Grabbe is looking forward to taking on this challenge: "I am excited and curious and I cannot wait to find out exactly what I will do and what insights I will gain."
After all, the day-to-day work on the Board is very different from her tasks in the commercial field. "We have done a personal handover."
I have a good feeling about moving temporarily into my office on the 18th floor.
"Getting to know myself better"
Marie to Baben is also very enthusiastic about starting her first weeks as a manager, but she is respectful of her new tasks at the same time. The 28-year old has written her thesis while working in the Grid & Infrastructure segment and has been working in the grid development team since. "I am delighted to get this opportunity and grateful for the trust Annette has in me. I am looking forward to my time in the new role and the experiences I will gain. I will probably not just learn a lot more about controlling, but also about myself."
Taking this occasion to turn holiday cover into an initiative for employee development was a "fantastic opportunity – and exactly what we want at innogy: to further develop and become more agile", Schneider is convinced. He places great trust in the two women.
I value both of them very much and I am delighted that they are taking this opportunity to develop both their technical expertise and leadership skills further.
The divisional Board member is open to further job rotations and Andrea Dorsch-Kellermann also advocates the model. "We can only gain through it: gain more experiences and gain additional skills. I hope that many managers will embrace this format and give talents the opportunity to develop further in this way."