101:Cross Training Employees

Teaching employees skills outside their immediate job descriptions seems like an automatic win-win: it helps with scheduling and employee morale, increases efficiency and builds strong teams. But the process is ripe with pitfalls if you don’t approach in a systematic fashion. Here are three ways you can cross-train your employees and managers to maximize all of the benefits (and hopefully, none of the negatives):
The time to scout out potentials is earlier than you think. It should be as early as hiring time, advises an article at Enterpreneur.com. A job candidate who has also had training in accounting or human resources, for instance, could prove valuable outside his or her immediate job description, the article points out. Keep this in mind when hiring “whenever possible, and especially when if your business has just a few employees,” the article states.
Do your homework. A cross-training program should not be launched without significant preparation, says an article at Inc.com. How will employees’ workload be decreased while they participate in training? The article advises setting up a task force to create a list of necessary tasks and have employees review the list first. Then, match them up with workers and consider compensation. “It may also be helpful to promote people who learn new skills to a new grade in a graded-pay system, or to attach a dollar value to specific skills,” the article reads.
Cross training is good protection. “The temporary loss of an employee due to sickness, family emergency, vacation leave … leaves the company susceptible to decreased productivity, lost revenue, a lower bottom line and strained customer relations,” says an article by Richard J. Maturi at AreaDevelopment.com. Cross training helps the company stay strong and allows its employee new skills to tout on their resume and take to any position that may be in their future.

 

Article posted by: Worcester Business Journal Online

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