Business guru W. Edwards Deming was a strong proponent of the idea that managers can’t fully understand a business until they’ve had a go at working in each part of the organisation. Spending time in each department is likely to make someone a more competent and empathetic manager. The same is true of other employees. In theory, the more a worker understands about a company, the more invested they will be. Training people to be competent in more than one role reduces the risk for the organisation, increases employee satisfaction and offers better overall support to customers. Let’s investigate the stakeholder benefits of the cross training staff.
Benefits To The Employer
Cross training can be used in most positions and departments but it needs to be done properly. Finding a good training supplier is key. Outsourcing Xero training for accounts, departments are invaluable as you can feel confident that staff are receiving high-quality information while you get on with your day to day tasks. Staff can be cross-trained to do other roles at the same level of responsibility and skill or can be upskilled to take on more responsibility. This enables managers to offer promising workers the opportunity to become more involved in management and decision making, possibly with a view to subsequent promotion. Asking an individual to complete a range of tasks enables an employer to assess strengths and weaknesses, which is helpful in future staff planning.
Having staff that are competent in more than one role is extremely helpful when someone takes sick leave. Although it isn’t a long-term solution to ask an individual to cover two jobs, it can avoid a drop in productivity in the short term and bypasses the need to bring in expensive temporary staff who are unfamiliar with the organisation. Having a reliable support team that you can outsource to also has major advantages for an organisation.
Cross training staff can increase efficiency by allowing flexibility. If one department is experiencing a quiet period while another has a high volume of work, then staff can be utilised more effectively to help out their busy colleagues. Having many people who can do many jobs allows to you put your resources where they are needed most at any one time.
Benefits To The Employee
Having a varied and challenging job is more likely to make an employee feel satisfied and valued at work. Offering the opportunity to cross train means that people are learning new skills, working with a variety of colleagues and customers and experiencing less position fatigue. Regular training and opportunities for growth maintain a level of stimulation which is essential for staff happiness and productivity.
A great way of incentivising workers to broaden their knowledge and gain new qualifications is to offer bonuses and benefits. This makes an effort worthwhile for the employee while adding value to the company. It also increases an employee’s chance of promotion, and sometimes career advancement is a more valuable proposition than monetary reward.
How to successfully Train Your Staff on Other Departments
Lead by example when it comes to cross-training, staff will be more motivated to takes on a wider breadth of work if they see their manager doing the same. You can also pass some of the control over to employees by asking them about the areas that they’d like to become more involved in. Allowing some choice should help quash any resentment about being asked to participate in further training. Ultimately, cross-training your staff will result in added value for your business, greater job satisfaction for your employees and overall better productivity so what have you got to lose?