How you implement cross-training will depend on the size and nature of your business. Consider prioritizing the departments that need and/or want cross-training the most. These departments may be understaffed or have many new employees. Look for important functions that are currently dependent on a single person’s knowledge. These areas should be a focus of your cross-training program. -Working more efficiently and effectively with other departments-Feeling more invested in the company-Enjoying growth opportunities-Create your cross-training plan If you’re considering cross-training your team, here are a few tips to help you prepare:
For employees, some of the biggest advantages of cross-training include: Cross-training provides greater flexibility in scheduling, especially when dealing with unexpected workload and staffing issues. It also helps employees develop expertise in other areas and increases their awareness of the company’s roles and functions, helping them better understand where they fit into the big picture.
Learning new skills Why companies cross-train
Start with a small pilot program. Test the waters with a select group of employees to get a better understanding of what works and what needs to be tweaked. You can then expand the program later as you gain insight and experience. Determine cross-training hours. Figure out how much time can be dedicated to cross-training for each team to still run efficiently. This may include setting aside a few hours each day, or setting aside full days for a certain period of time to focus on cross-training. If your business is seasonal, ramp up cross-training during your low seasonal period. Present cross-training as an opportunity. Your employees may be more resistant to cross-training if it feels like it’s an obligation or a threat to their roles. You can help them feel motivated by highlighting the benefits, like developing different skill sets and having a better understanding of how their contributions positively impact the business.
Communicate to your team. It’s essential to get everyone involved before you start a cross-training program. Help your team understand why the company is cross-training employees. Reasons may be to prepare for organizational growth or new industry standards, to cover functions when someone is impacted by the pandemic, or to adjust to a changing structure around roles and responsibilities. Then continue to communicate with your team throughout the program with status updates and team meetings about progress and next steps. Document your key processes. You cannot cross-train if you don’t know the process. These written processes will turn into training documents as you implement your program.
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