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Transfer at Work Is a Career Opportunity


A Transfer Moves an Employee Laterally on the Organizational Chart

A Transfer Moves an Employee Laterally on the Organizational Chart

iStockphoto / Tom McNemar

A transfer at work is an approach to helping employees develop a career path. A transfer provides experience in other areas of an employee's current department or in a new department within the business.

A work transfer is a way to help an employee gain wider and broader experience within the business. It is more often available than a promotion because fewer employees inhabit each successive layer as they are promoted up the organization chart. A transfer will not generally result in a higher salary, although it can.

As managers look for ways to help employees continue to develop their skills, experience, and knowledge about the business, a transfer is an option to consider. When working with a performance development planning (PDP) process, along with promotions, a transfer provides an opportunity for an employee to learn and grow. Thus, it is motivating for employees. A transfer to a different job at work is a sign that the organization cares about and will provide opportunities for the employee's development, one of the five factors that employees want to obtain from work.

Advantages of a Transfer

A transfer provides a career path for an employee when a promotion is not available. It provides advantages for an employee. In a transfer, the employee:

  • Gains new knowledge and skills by performing a different job that requires new skills and provides different responsibilities.

  • Overcomes boredom and dissatisfaction with his or her current job by having a new and different job with changed responsibilities and tasks.

  • Receives a new challenge, a chance for the employee to expand his or her accomplishments, reach, impact, and potentially, influence different aspects of the workplace and organization.

  • Experience a change of scene and work environment which challenges the employee to adapt and learn to manage change. (Increases the employee's ability to deal with ambiguity.)

  • Will learn about different components, activities, and jobs in the organization and how work is accomplished in different departments or job functions. (This will build his or her organizational knowledge and ability to get things done.)

  • Prepares for a promotion or broader organizational role, by expanding his or her skill set and responsibilities, and gain broader knowledge about the total organization.

  • Gains visibility with a new group of coworkers and managers. Visibility for a good employee brings potential opportunities.

  • Allows the employee to accomplish all of the above while retaining his or her current salary, benefits package, and company perks. A job change to achieve these same benefits might result in the loss of needed and appreciated compensation and benefits.

The word transfer is used interchangeably with the term, lateral move, although a transfer can involve a promotion. As such, in the business world, though, the employer would likely call the move a promotion.

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Also Known As: job transfer, lateral move, lateral transfer
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