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In Focus Collections

Making a swap work for your business

Swapping roles can bring fresh insight and opportunities, but you need to have the basic preparations and communication in place

Kay Brennand Group credit manager UK & Europe, European Metal Recyling

Last year was an immensely challenging one for all credit professionals. The economic downturn, which we have still to recover from, bites deeply. Driven to thinking about ways to collect

cash in a more efficient manner, I turned my thoughts to job swapping. So what benefits are there to this? Think about it: the person who does job A gets a rest from it, and gets to either go back to something they did previously, job B, or maybe they can even do job C – a whole new ball game.

Encouraging versatility The benefits can be significant. The person looking at job A then looks at if from a different point of view, maybe with a completely different set of skills. If there are a lot of spreadsheets involved, they might slim them down or add a few new formulas. If it is a question of a lot of telephone work, they might just be a fresh voice and collect cash in a different way. If they are using a system, they might find some new shortcuts. Good questions for each person, within

any other constrictions of that role, may be along the lines of why is this required? Does this person do anything with this information? If so, what? Can I make the information better or send it in a different way? Is it something they can view on the system if they have access? Is this the right way for this person and pay rank to spend their time?

30 Obviously holiday and absence cover

The benefits can be significant. The person looking at job A then looks at if from a different point of view

Benefits within the organisation So far, I must say, there have been many important benefits. In one area, we asked so many questions that we eventually brought the departments concerned to the table – from which emerged a more satisfactory working method for us, then, for all in general, a better understanding of the impact of one area on another.

benefitted everyone. Pluses were also the writing of procedures – when a person hands their role to someone else, even temporarily, it may be quite surprising for you as a manager to see what they are actually doing, for whom, when and why.

Important considerations Requirements beforehand are to advise internal and external customers of the swap for good communication – they will also tend to be more forgiving. Also to check system access and ensure

there is a handover period when all parties feel they are still supported if they make mistakes. Things change. Have a job swap. It may

just be the most satisfactory thing your team have done all year! CCR

February 2016

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