Most often than not, the transfer of an employee, even with genuine reasons and good justifications, may not go down well with the employee. “Why me?” ”This is preposterous!” “This is pure greed, nepotism, vindictiveness and power-play.” “Discrimination and an act of sabotage!”  These are but some of the comments people make.

In general, human nature resists change, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. This uncomfortable process has rendered some employees jobless, stressed, frustrated, confused and divorced: some have even died.

In spite of the many adverse effects of employee transfer, there have been breathtaking success stories. Who knows? You could simply be the answer! You could be more impactful and leave a lasting legacy elsewhere!

“The very stone the builder rejected”

Have you been transferred before? In the process of being transferred? Or anticipating a transfer?

In this article, we will cover areas including the meaning employee transfer and its purpose, types of transfer, and the importance of employee transfers.


A transfer is a horizontal or lateral movement of an employee from one job, section, department, shift, plant or position to another at the same or another place where his salary, status and responsibility remain the same. Transfer may be initiated either by the company or the employee. It also can be temporary or permanent. 

Transfers are generally carried out to build up a more satisfactory work team and to achieve the following purposes; 

  • To increase the effectiveness of the organisation
  • To increase versatility and competence of key positions
  • To deal with fluctuations in work requirements
  • To correct incompatibilities in employee relations
  • To correct erroneous placement
  • To relieve monotony
  • To adjust workforce
  • To punish employees (Generally in government organisations, employees who commit mistakes or malfeasance will be treated with transfer to another place where he cannot act according to his wish or misuse his job position)


Employee transfers may be classified as below.

a) Production transfers: Such transfers are made to meet the company’s requirements. The surplus employees in one department who are efficient might be absorbed in other places where there are requirements. Such transfers help to stabilise employment.

b) Replacement transfers: This takes place to replace a new employee who has been in the organisation for a long time, thereby giving some relief to an old employee from the heavy pressure of work.

c) Versatility transfers: It is also known as rotation. It is done to develop all-round employees by moving them from one job to another. It also helps to reduce boredom and monotony.

d) Personnel or remedial transfers: Such a transfer is made to rectify mistakes in selection and placement. As a follow up, the wrongly placed employee is transferred to a more suitable job.

e) Shift transfers: This is pretty common where there is more than one shift and when there is regularised rotation.

Employees may be transferred for the following reasons…

  1. To avoid favouritism and nepotism 
  2. To avoid gaining capacity of influencing and egocentrism 
  3. To avoid monotony in the work of an employee. 
  4. Makes an employee accountable to his/her seat, so as not to find mistake by his successor. 
  5. Prevents excess dependency on a particular employee, which may otherwise affect the purpose of hierarchy and control over subordinates. 
  6. To create transparency among the employees and their work. 
  7. To maintain healthy relationships between all the staff members, to retain a harmonious environment and avoid unnecessary disputes.

Whatever the reason for your transfer may be, endeavour to be the solution to the problem at your new post!


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