Cross-training is a relatively new way of training employees to perform responsibilities they usually do not do as a part of their usual job responsibilities. Consequently, many companies cross-train their employees to improve the company efficiency and help them undertake other tasks.
Cross-training has multiple benefits for the company and is a vital part of the employee management system. It helps the employees increase their versatility while also enabling the company to get the unexpected. So, let’s understand the entire concept of cross-training and some practical ways of doing the same for the staff.
What is Cross-training?
Cross-training is the type of training given to the employees in fields that are not a part of their daily duties. Consider a content writer, who is tasked with writing blogs for a company’s website. If the company is training content writers to design the infographics widely found in blogs, it is a clear application of the concept of cross-training.
Cross-training can improve the employees’ skillset, resulting in a skilled and productive workforce. It also helps make the organization flexible by increasing the skill set of the employees with various skills. Moreover, it helps make the employees realize the different operations of the organization, so increasing their engagement with the company.
Benefits of Cross-training
Cross-training is now popular in corporate culture due to the plethora of benefits it brings to the organization and employees. It helps the organizations utilize the potential of their employees and also appreciate them better.
Let us consider some other benefits of cross-training:
With cross-training, organizations get a highly flexible and agile workforce that can be tasked with any responsibility as per the immediate requirements of the business. In addition, the employees can be capable enough to complete the tasks and undertake them well due to their training through the concept of cross-skilling.
The added advantages of having a flexible workforce can be numerous. Besides just quickly shifting your workforce, you can also help your employee management system locate any hidden talents the staff might have.
Among the main benefits of cross-training is the improvement in the company’s efficiency. In addition, cross-training or cross-skilling ensures that a task is completed even if a specific employee is absent since other personnel possesses the necessary skills.
Having such a kind of uninterrupted productivity is essential to maintain the workplace’s efficiency, and cross-training helps achieve it effortlessly. Moreover, since multiple employees have the skills to undertake a specific task, work would not be interrupted as the team resources can be remapped according to immediate requirements.
Since the employees are trained in other tools and methods, they do not use them commonly, and they feel valued by their organization. As a result, they would have more interest in their work and organization. They will also recognize the importance of having more than one skill to rise on the corporate ladder and be more invested in their work for the organization.
As a result, you can consider that cross-skilling helps increase the engagement factor for employees with your company. So, it ultimately proves advantageous for your business as an engaged workforce is also a productive workforce.
Cross-skilling helps the employees gain newer skills that could open new promotion doors. They will also find that the talent they are getting the training for is better suited for their own aptitude than what they are currently doing. Due to this, they may even consider changing their career.
Having the option to change careers can also help in internal mobility. Employees will have more opportunities to switch roles. Plus, the managers can gain clarity as to which employees are suited better for which positions. In addition, employees who are good at tackling multiple responsibilities can be promoted to reward them for being good at their work.
Better Team Bonding
Since the employees would learn the skillset of their teammates, they are more inclined to understand the problems their colleagues face in finishing their tasks in a better way. As a result, they can empathize with them and also help in finding more efficient ways to complete their tasks.
It increases team collaboration as the employees know each other’s responsibilities and roles. Such a collaborative workplace is desirable for any organization since it helps complete tasks with maximum efficiency.
Ways to Cross-Train Your Employees
Seek out willing candidates
After you have defined your goals for the cross-training program, it is crucial that you find the employees that have the right mindset. Employees who have recently started their tenure in the organization are yet to be accustomed to the various processes. Such employees are the perfect candidates for cross-skilling.
Additionally, it is good to actively seek out candidates willing to learn any new skills and put them into training for the skillset they wish to learn. Open communication is crucial at this stage of the cross-training process as it needs active participation from the employee.
Define your cross-training goals
A very crucial step in defining a cross-training approach is to develop the goals that such a training system needs to fulfill. The entire cross-training strategy will depend on your goals during this process.
By defining goals for your cross-skilling process, you are setting the targets that you want to achieve after completion of the training program. So, it is important that you discuss the details with your training department and the HR team before suiting up for it.
Share the benefits of cross-training with your employees
Since there can be no direct monetary benefits in the cross-training programs, it is important to let your staff know its multiple uses. You can help your employees, via an employee management system, understand the benefits of cross-training by putting out short introductory videos on the subject.
Having such introductory videos will help the employees understand the significance of these training sessions and get them interested in training better. You can also highlight that cross-skilling helps them learn new skills and can provide new opportunities for them and open new avenues for progression in the organization.
Try to introduce a job rotation program
In several companies implementing cross-training, executing a job rotation program is expected. Job rotation programs help rotate the employees between their designations periodically to help them understand and appreciate the different job roles and responsibilities.
Having a job rotation program helps the organization build their knowledge, reduce any boredom in their workplace and also develop a collaborative mindset. It is also of utmost significance to make sure that the rotation is long enough for the staff to get acquainted and familiar with their new roles. Once they are good for that newly designated role, it is good to switch them back to their usual position as you require their unique abilities to undertake their primary tasks.