While you may have heard of cross-training when it comes to improving fitness, you may not be aware of the importance of cross-training within companies – and no, we’re not talking about creating athletes here. Whilst still related to fitness, cross-training in companies helps to promote the health of the company and employees within it by creating more team players and bringing added value to a company.
For business owners, cross-training helps to reduce the gaps that they see when an employee is absent, ensuring their business continues to run smoothly. For employees, it means gaining a greater overall understanding of a business, learning more skills and becoming more valuable to an organization.
The Benefits of Cross-Training for Employers
One of the major benefits of this concept is that any disruptions that occur can be dealt with more effectively. If an employee has to take a leave of absence or they leave the company unexpectedly, there’ll be someone else there who can take over in the meantime, helping a business to mitigate their risks.
It also helps managers to find the leaders of tomorrow. In their current positions an employee may not shine or show any motivational / leadership skills but when given new duties to perform, their hidden talents may come through. Team moral and work ethic can also be increased within this type of working environment as employees feel more valued and also come to appreciate what everyone else does in the company.
Because teams are being trained in various areas of the company, cross-training makes everyone look at what they’re doing and how processes can be refined. Someone may step into a role and notice something that can be done in a more efficient manner, bringing added productivity to the company. It may also reduce the need to hire as many workers, as employees can work in multiple areas, helping to keep a company’s costs low but the efficiency levels higher.
By providing staff with greater learning ability and the opportunity to hone in on new skills, it can also provide companies with a great recruiting tool. Whether they’re allowed to visit Simplilearn online to do an IT course or they’re given the opportunity to learn from senior workers, it provides them with the drive they need in their careers.
The Benefits of Cross-Training for Employees
If an employee is cross-trained and showcases their skills and ability to adapt and take on additional responsibilities, they may be considered for a promotion sooner than others. It also gives them a platform to show what they can do and how they can bring added value to the company. Many employers have also noticed that productivity has increased in those who have been cross-trained as they are less likely to feel stagnant or bored in their current roles due to the variation offered.
Allowing employees to develop new skills also gives them confidence in their career, helping them to feel like they’re building soft and technical skills and their professional repertoire. This also assists in making them feel more valued and confident within the business.
As other team members may be training each other, it also proves to be a great team building exercise. By interacting with other people that they may not have spoken to before, it helps them to build relationships while also providing them with an overview of what roles there are within the company. This helps them to grasp the bigger picture and unites them in their drive for the company’s success.
With all of this added interaction and recognition within a company, it helps to increase the motivational levels of employees as they feel like the business is investing time and money into improving their skill sets. If an employee believes their employer is genuinely trying to help them take the next step up the career ladder by improving their skills, they’re more likely to remain in the company, giving that extra 10% and commitment to it.
Implementing Cross-Training in a Company
In order to implement cross-training within a company, and successfully, it’s important that the critical tasks are identified, as are the employees who are capable of taking on each of these tasks. Explaining why this cross-training is being implemented will make sure everyone is on the same page and providing all of the benefits will make sure the person undergoing training remains focused and attentive at all times. Cross-training is viable for all industries and most positions.
Christopher Dawson writes on a variety of HR topics for small business blogs. He works as a senior HR manager for a large company and enjoys sharing his views online.