The Radical Idea of “Musical Chairs”…with Your Employees

Changing jobs often is becoming increasingly acceptable. According to an article published this January by Fast Company contributor Vivian Giang , job hopping every 3 to 4 years is beneficial to not only the employee, but the company as well. The benefits include renewed perspective and fresh, innovative ideas as well as increased skill development and resourcefulness. The longer an employee stays stagnant in a position, the more likely they are to become disengaged and comfortable in their work.

Insert the idea of “musical chairs” with your employees. Let me give you a visual…the music is going and going and everyone is going and around and doing their job. The music stops and everyone scrambles to “their seat”. In this game of musical chairs, none of the seats are actually taken away rather you are not allowed to return to the comfort of the seat you are used to. How fun would the game be if you knew, as soon as the music stopped (even with your eyes closed) you would return back to your original seat? At some point, would you cease to even get out of your seat?

The idea is to leverage job hopping internally with your employees to not only cross-train, but to discover the magic combination of talent to positions to reach (and exceed) business objectives and foster continuous growth.

The benefits to such an idea are as follows:


  • Develop additional skill sets
  • Enhance current skill set
  • Leverage old knowledge or currently unused knowledge/skills
  • Increase ability to adapt and adjust to change faster
  • Increased sense of value to the company


  • Increased organizational efficiency
  • Reduce costs by leveraging internal talent
  • Maintains productivity for absentee coverage
  • Staffing becomes more strategic
  • Boost motivation and loyalty by investing in employees’ career growth


Employees are essentially cross-trained to either perform a variety of tasks in multiple roles within the organization or at least possess the knowledge of internal processes/departments to better serve the customers and clients. Overall, the practice is essentially creates competitiveness by design and inimitability through talent and service.


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