Transfer Meaning, Features, Purposes and Types

Meaning of Transfer

A transfer implies a lateral movement of an employee in the hierarchy of positions with the same pay and stats. Transfers of employees are quite common in all organisations. They are possible from one department to the other or even from one plant to another. Transfers can originate from either the company or the employee.

According to Edwin B. Flippo, “Transfer is a job change where the new job is substantially equal to the old in terms of pay, status and responsibilities”.

According to Yoder and Associates, “Transfer is a lateral shift causing movement of individuals from one position to another usually without involving any marked change in duties, responsibilities, skills needed or compensation”.

Features of Sound Transfer Policy

Employees have the option to transfer from one department to another or from one plant to another. For effective transfer policies, it is important to have a clear job description and thorough job analysis. Minimizing transfers, especially frequent or extensive ones, is crucial. This can be achieved by¬†establishing proper selection and placement procedures either through company initiatives or upon employees’ request.

Features of the sound transfer policy are as follows:

1) Document the information in writing and share it with every organization employee.

2) The policy should distinctly specify the types of transfers and the situations that mandate their use.

3) The policy should also mention the basis for or grounds for transfers.

4) The policy should indicate the authority of some officer who will be responsible for initiating and implementing transfers.

5) The policy should specify the units or areas where transfers are applicable, including whether they are limited to a sub-unit or can also encompass transfers between departments, divisions, and plants.

6) The policy should also specify the pay rate for employees undergoing a transfer.

7) The policy must guarantee that the person affected is notified well in advance about the transfer.

8) The policy should clearly state whether an employee will retain their seniority permanently, for a temporary period, or lose it entirely.

9) The policy should specify whether training or re-training on the new job is necessary.

10) The policy should promote a practice of infrequent transfers and discourage transfers without a valid reason.

Purposes of Transfer

The primary reasons for transfers typically include the following:

1) To Meet Organisational Requirements

To meet an organization’s evolving demands resulting from shifts in production volume, fluctuations in workforce needs, and alterations in the organizational structure, as well as the introduction of new product lines or the discontinuation of existing ones. This may also include reallocating or downsizing the workforce to address shortages or surpluses within a specific section, to prevent layoffs and address any job vacancies that may arise. The policy should specify the areas or units over which transfer would take place, i.e., whether transfers can be made only within a sub-unit or also between divisions, departments and plants because of separation or because of the need for suitable adjustments in business operations.

2) To Utilise Skill of Employees

Transfers are a means to improve an employee’s effectiveness when their performance is not meeting standards. In such cases, management often thinks that in different roles, employees can be more suitable and add more value by effectively utilizing their skills.

3) To Increase the Productivity of Employees

Over some time, the productivity of an employee may decline because of the monotony of his or her job. Transfers serve the purpose of breaking this monotony for employees.

4) To Meet Employee’s Request

To meet an employee’s request, when he feels uncomfortable on the job because he dislikes his boss, or his fellow workers because better opportunities for his future advancement do not exist there, or because family circumstances may compel him to change the place of his residence.

5) To Give Relief to an Old Employee

To replace a new employee with an employee who has been in the organization for a sufficiently long time.

6) To Make Employees More Versatile

To enhance employee versatility, by rotating them between different roles to provide ample opportunities for gaining diverse and extensive work experience.

7) To Penalise Employees

Organizations may employ transfers as a strategy to handle employee-related concerns. For example, in cases involving challenging trade union activists or individuals known for stirring up conflicts, a transfer to a distant branch or office can be initiated to prevent them from continuing their disruptive activities.

8) To Adjust the Workforce

To adjust the workforce of one plant with that of another, especially when one is closed due to reasons beyond the employer’s control.

9) To Adjust the Employee’s Timing

To help employees work according to their convenience so far as timings are concerned, e.g., Employees may experience a change from the night shift to the morning shift or from the first shift to the second shift. For example, this might apply to female workers who prefer to attend to their children and household duties during the morning hours.

10) To Maintain a Tenure System

Transfer for the maintenance of a tenure system. Transfers are frequent in senior administrative government roles, as well as in industries that have an annual intake of management trainees. Here, the employee holds a specific job for a fixed tenure. Still, he is made to move from job to job to acquire a variety of experience and skills and to ensure that he does not get involved in informal political groups.

Related Articles:

Types of Transfer

Different types of transfer are as follows:

1) Based on Purpose

It includes the following:

i) Production Transfers: These transfers involve moving employees from departments where labour demands have decreased to departments experiencing increased labour needs or vacancies due to employee departures. The purpose of these production transfers is to maintain job security and prevent layoffs.

ii) Replacement Transfers: From the viewpoint of purpose, replacement transfers serve a similar purpose to production transfers, as they both aim to prevent layoffs. The purpose of replacement transfers is to make a substitution, replacing a new employee with a well-established member of the organization.

iii) Shift Transfers: This is a common type of transfer of an employee from one shift to another on the same type of work.

iv) Remedial Transfers: The purpose of these transfers, in line with their title, is to address the situation. For example, if the initial placement has been faulty, or the worker cannot get alongwith his supervisor, a transfer to a more appropriate job or more agreeable supervisor might result in better performance. In this way, a good organisation treats its employees as individuals, of course, within the broad policy framework.

v) Versatility Transfers: The objective of these transfers is to increase the versatility of the employee by shifting him from one job to another. In this way, the employee is provided with a varied and broader job experience. This helps the employee through job enlargement and job enrichment. This can assist him in his readiness for upcoming promotions.

vi) Precautionary Transfers: These transfers are a proactive strategy to deter employees from engaging in office misuse or fund misappropriation.

2) Based on Unit

It includes the following:

i) Sectional Transfers: These transfers involve reassigning employees from one section to another within the same department. The primary purpose of such transfers is to train the workers and prepare them to handle the operations of the various sections of the department.

ii) Departmental Transfers: Departmental transfer refers to the process of transferring employees from one department to another within the plant. These transfers occur when the nature of the work in both departments is identical or very similar, such as clerical or routine tasks.

iii) Inter-Plant Transfers: When the same management oversees multiple plants, they can transfer employees from one plant to another for various purposes. Such transfers are called inter-plant transfers.

Types of Transfer

You May Also Like:

Human Resource Planning

Job Evaluation

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Nature of Financial Management