Everyone who has changed jobs or departments can understand how enlightening it is to suddenly see Celanese from a different perspective.

In the Nanjing Shared Service Center (now GBS), we have been running a Rotation Program that has been designed to broaden peoples perspective as well as develop their technical skills. This is not a new idea by any means, but what is different is we have stuck with the program and have seen how people grow.  From an employee who was processing invoices in Accounts Payable, to becoming a supervisor after her rotation, and now moving into a team lead role.  Or another employee who left Nanjing as a quiet young graduate and came back more experienced, full of confidence and knowledge in his area.  My favorite stories are those candidates who are brave enough to cross over from Accounting to Supply Chain and then to Procurement; this challenging path reflects the true GBS spirit.

We offer three options anyone can apply for inside this 18-month program.

1) Rotate jobs every six months within your own function.
2) Rotate across functions every six months (Accounting to Supply Chain to Procurement)
3) Swap to a similar job as your own for five months in another country. (Hungary, China or the U.S.)

We have been running and enhancing this program for three years now and offering it to all levels of the organization. The concept is not revolutionary, but the results are fantastic.  However, do not be fooled at the glamor of this program because it’s exhausting to have to start on a new learning curve every six months. Our management team has no pity on these brave candidates when they plead to stay in their first assignment forever because they have finally mastered it. If you sign up for the program you are expected to finish it.

We have seen everyone succeed and come out with a perspective that is of great value to Celanese and to each candidate personally and professionally. The technical skills, cross-functional understanding and cross-regional cultural appreciation are a few of the many benefits we have seen.

It is not an easy program, but all have thrived on the challenge and come out the other end smiling having boosted their careers and increased their value as an employee.

This program has shown such success that we will expand it across the new Global Business Services (GBS) organization in 2013, where we hope to broaden more minds and perspectives, adding value to the way we  leverage best practices around the world.