HR Knowledge

Free Letters

What is the meaning of transfer?

The meaning of word transfer is to move people or finances from one place to another. It is a common word used in the field of human resource which indicates the movement of employees from one job to another. The transfer generally took place in a later fashion moving employees within the same grade.


What is Job Transfer Meaning & Its Definition?  

Job transfer is the shift of job for employees; the change can be in terms of place of job, department of job or shift of job. The employees are replaced or moved lateral to serve the best for the organization.

Flippo has defined the term job transfer as ‘transfer refers to changes in job of a employee without changing the remuneration or the responsibilities of the employee’. This makes transfer different from the job promotion. As job promotion includes increase in remuneration, status, authority and responsibility it is very different than job transfer. In most of the organizations transfers are frequent whereas promotions are irregular in nature.

What is Employee transfer policy in HRM?

Transfer policy in HRM is a document which consists of all the important information related to the job transfer of the employee. It has list of types of job transfer which can took place in the organization along with the terms and conditions which has to be followed while transferring the employee. It provides the information about the officers who are given authority to initiate and implement the job transfer in the organization. The basis on which the decision of transfer should be taken is given in the employee transfer policy. It conveys the factors such as seniority or skill set requirement based on which the transfer can be initiated. Employee transfer policy has specified the frequency of transfers that may occur in the organization. It also includes the transfer documents which are used to communicate with employee.

Employee Transfer in HRM

Employee transfer is a relocation of employee within the same range of salary in same class with similar responsibility at different place or department. According to Keith D., the shift of employee from one position to another keeping rest of the factor similar is what we call employee transfer in HRM. Here the hierarchical level of the employee remains unchanged. The unchanged level of hierarchy suggests that the rank, skills and task to be performed by the employee remains same as the old position. There are few benefits of the employee transfer in the organization-

  1. It helps to improve the working experience of the employee as they get to work with different people and different environment.

  2. It makes the people skill better and prepares the employee for future promotions.

  3. It provides a new sense of motivation and satisfaction as transfer is often referred as growth oriented opportunity for the employees. 

  4. It helps managers to ensure overall skill development of the employees by lateral movement of employees within the organization.

Lateral Transfer Definition

The lateral transfer is defined by Yoder et. al (1958), as a lateral recruitment of individuals from old position to new position by keeping the skills needed to perform duties, job responsibilities or compensation unchanged. The lateral transfer can be initiated by the organization or by the employee. It can be temporary based on the need of organization or it can be marked as a permanent transfer. 

Types of employee transfer and its process and procedures in HRM

There are six types of transfer which can be implemented in the organization based on the purpose of the transfer. The reason behind the transfer helps to figure out the type of the employee transfer.  

Types of Transfer

  1. Production Transfer

Sometimes in few production jobs the requirement of labor gets declined. In order to avoid the lay-off of the efficient employees due to reduction in the manpower requirement, organization often transfers the employees to alternative position. This transfer is known as production transfer.

  1. Replacement Transfer

Due to change in technology or market some operations in the organization get shut down. Now in order to retain the long-service employee the organization replaces them with a new employee with shorter service. This is known as replacement transfer. The long-service employee are assigned new job in another department of the organization.

  1. Rotation Transfer

Enhancement of job experience is the reason behind job rotation transfer. It is also called as versatility transfer. The management improves the versatility of the employees by their lateral movement from one job to another. This transfer helps in job enlargement of the employee.

  1. Shift Transfer

It is not a part of rotational shift but it is actual transfer of employees from one shift to another. Employees working in second shift often complain about the lack of social life. Thus, in order to maintain work life balance organization transfer the employee to another shift to help them in participates in their private and social life.

  1. Remedial Transfer

Sometimes the initial placement of the employee on particular job might be faulty. To correct the mistake, remedial transfer is carried out. It is often the situation in which due to some health issues the employees are not able to continue the given job. Thus they are replaced with other suitable employees who take a remedial transfer at the position.

  1. Penal Transfer

Here the example of Bangladesh Company is perfect. In this type of transfer the employee is used as a concealed penalty. When trade union activist or a trouble maker employee is located in the organization, this employee is transferred to a remote branch of the organization to make sure he/she will not be able to continue the destructive activities. Such transfer is also known as downgrading as it may include reduction in authority, compensation and duties.

Transfer Procedure

The procedure of the employee job transfer depends on who has requested or initiated the transfer process. Either manager/management or employee can initiate the transfer process. Here are two different employee transfer procedures followed in the organization.

Manager/Management Initiated Employee Job Transfer

Employee Initiated Job Transfer

Manager or Management convey to HR department about a requirement of the position.

The HR department checks the skills and competence required for the job profile and later recognizes the employee who can fulfill the job requirement within the organization.

The employee is conveyed about the open position in the organization and his/her willingness to join the new job position is checked by HR department.

Sometimes the new manager or department takes interview of the employee to ensure the best fit for the new job position.

The transfer form is issued to the employee along with the details of the new job to be joined.

After the approval of the employee the transfer order is issued.

Employee check the open job position in the organization through internal portal and apply for it.

HR department verify that the skills and competence of the employee matches to the job he/she applied.

The HR department calls the employee for interview and to check the suitability of the employee for new job position.

Once HR department confirms the employee is suitable for new job, the current manager of the employee is contacted and HR department ensure that the employee is properly relived from the old job.

After selection in the interview transfer form is issued to the employee along with the details of the new job to be joined.

After the approval of the employee the transfer order is issued.

Explain: Internal, External Transfer and Lateral

The internal, external and lateral transfer has few differences in terms of the location of job, other than that all these three transfers are parts of lateral movement of employees in the organization.

  1. Internal Transfer- Here the employee is transferred within the department or the branch of the company to a new position.

  2. External Transfer- When the employee is transferred from one department or one branch or one location of the organization to another it is termed as external transfer.

  3. Lateral Transfer- In the lateral transfer of the employee the grade and job of the employee remains same. However the employee gets opportunities to work with new coworkers and new environment.

What are the Reasons or purpose of Employee job transfer in HRM

The defined criteria set by the organization for the job transfer of the employees generally varies from individual to individual. However there are some primary reasons of the job transfer as given below-

Reasons of Employee Job transfer

  1. To fulfill the requirement of competency, distinctive skills and expertise of job position the employees are transferred to new positions.

  2. Due to shortage of employees in one particular department of the organization or high demand situation in the organization transfer of employees do occur to support the work flow.

  3. Sometimes to resolve the clashes between manager and subordinates or two workers the transfer of employees took place. Here it is ensure that the conflicted employees are not kept in one team.

  4. Routine work can be boring for some employees. To break the monotony and improve the productivity of the employee they are transferred to new job position.

  5. Many times due to some personal issues, health issues or other life priorities employee request the human resource department to transfer him/her to another work location.

  6. After marriage female employees often request a transfer to live with their spouses.

Purpose of Employee Job Transfer

Companies design the transfer policy to make sure that employee job transfer took place in the organization in order to build up more skillful, satisfied and motivated work force. The purpose of the employee job transfer are listed below-

Purpose PF Transfer
  1. To improve the effectiveness of company

  2. To increase the competence and versatility of the key position in the organization.

  3. To deal with changes in work requirement based on the change in market or technology.

  4. To maintain healthy employee relations.

  5. To correct the error in the initial placement of the employee.

  6. To provide relief from the job monotony

  7. For the adjustment of workforce in the organization in order to reduce the chances of lay-off.

  8. Sometimes to punish the employees for misuse of the authority or position.

Sample Transfer Policy

The sample transfer policy can vary from company to company. The working conditions of every organization are different which leads to unique transfer policy. The transfer policy mentioned here is a sample to understand the technical angle of the policy. It is important to verify the applicability of the transfer policy before its implementation in any company.

Sample Transfer Policy

Purpose- The purpose of the transfer policy is to provide opportunity to the employees to apply to the different open positions in the organization which they are suitable. 

  1. Employees can apply for the transfer due to following reasons:

  1. Interest in open position available in another department/branch of organization 

  2. To enhance the skills and competence

  3. To explore new work challenges at different work location 

  4. Due to health issues or personal issues

  1. Managers/Management can put the request of transfer due to following reasons:

  1. Need of more competent employees in the team/department

  2. Sudden demand of more work force due to increase in work load

  3. To replace ill or frequently absent employee

  4. To introduce the team member to new work skills

  5. Decrease in requirement of work force

  6. To resolve the conflict among employees.  

  1. The approval or selection of employee for transfer is totally depending on the interview and skilled work performs by the employee. 
  1. If the employee is unwilling to join the new position under the transfer, the employee as to justify the unwillingness with suitable reasons or documents. 
  1. The salary, job status and rank of the employee remains same after transfer
  1. It is mandatory for the employee to join the new job position on assigned joining date.
  1. In the case of temporary transfer the employee need to shift to other job once the given task is accomplished. 
  1. The permanent transfer refers to the long time period for which the employee has to continue working on the assigned job. 
  1. The transfer can be initiated by employee/ manager/management only after every 2 years.
  1. The transfer decision taken by HR department is mandatory to follow.