Rotating IT Assignments -- Facebook Does It

Rotational assignments for federal IT workers – where employees gain a breadth of experience by working at other agencies and in the private sector – have long been touted as a tool for improving IT performance and retaining critical IT staff. New initiatives such as the Tech Fellows program and the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Cybersecurity Training Exercise program are embracing this concept.

Private sector companies also are seeing the value in having their employees rotate across the organization. During a visit to Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley last week, I learned that the social networking giant allows employees to plead with their managers to rotate jobs and take on new projects.

“We do a lot of rotations, particularly with the tech and engineering employees,” said Slater Tow, a spokesman for Facebook. “They are able to take three months off of their job and go do something else, and then decide whether they want to stay on the new project, go back to their old project or start something new. All of that works together to make our people really happy. It’s a hard-to-leave environment.”