To optimize productivity benefits, businesses today are cross-training their employees to leap the economies of scale that come with such strategies. Cross-training refers to the coaching of employees in a variety of skills and responsibilities in various tasks so as to improve their effectiveness in the performance of their tasks (Entrepreneur 1).
Application of The theory
The best approach in cross-training is to start off during the recruitment of staff into our firm. To implement this strategy, I will make sure that I hire those workers that have the highest capacity to be cross-trained. These include workers who can multi-task, those willing to learn new skills, and are able to adapt fast and effectively to a new environment (Weiss 4).
The better an employee can adapt to different roles in his career, the better for the firm. Those who fit best in different responsibilities are an asset to the company as they lead to high savings for the company.
On bringing in these new employees, I will train them on performing a variety of duties in the company, especially those that don’t require highly complex expertise. For example, all employees will be trained on how to handle customer inquiries and telephone operations. Basic information technology skills will be combined with computer troubleshooting skills to make the employees flexible.
Cross-training will enable our firm to cut the cost of operation by enabling standing in of employees for those who might be absent or on vacation. Those trained will also be able to stand in for those who are sick and on lunch breaks. In many companies during lunch breaks and when some of their colleagues are sick, their duties remain unattended, which compromises the performance of the company.
To avoid this, I will ensure that all areas are covered by cross-training staff to avoid such scenarios. This will reduce the burden of employing part-time and temporary staff to fill in, which is very expensive for the company (Goessl 2).
Cross-training will also enable me to inculcate teamwork in my employees. During training, employees will be able to learn what others do, thus encouraging them to engage with each other in supportive roles. Those interested in various other roles will benefit through increased understanding of business processes, which will go hand in hand in boosting productivity and encourage collaboration in the execution of tasks.
Another additional benefit of cross-training is that my employees will get valuable benefits in terms of diversification of skills and valuable work experience. Many staff members like to be challenged, and cross-training provides an opportunity to allow them to increase their proficiency in work. Along with the outlined benefits above, this will provide important motivation, which will, in turn, boost their productivity.
To increase the effectiveness of the cross-training program, I will allow employees to switch duties occasionally to break the monotony of carrying out similar jobs all day through. It will also offer them an opportunity to put into exercise the skills learned during training and also facilitate the identification of areas of strength of employees.
During cross-training, all employees will participate in the program hence alleviating the need to outsource training services, which facilitates the exchange of skills and knowledge. It is in such forums that leadership skills are nurtured besides acting as a motivation for them to grow their skills.
The cross-training, among others, will also help to reduce the effect of interruption caused by the abrupt departure of some employees. This is because the trained staff will easily fit on the positions without further training for the tasks. Ultimately, the continuity of business operations will be guaranteed, resulting in the reduction of downtimes in operation, which is usually costly to the firm.
The implementation of the program will involve training the employees on the requirement of each particular job, policies, and procedures, material, and documents required. This will bring consistency in the execution of performing new tasks in case one is called upon to fill in a gap.
The probability of errors will be greatly minimized; hence ensuring productivity is not adversely affected in such scenarios. Any new employee injects new ideas, especially when they have prior exposure to such tasks. This will enable us to improve the quality of output by taking advantage of the new, more efficient ideas that help to uplift the productivity of our firm.
To facilitate the process of training, I will, in conjunction with other management staff, first train the first batch of staff then let this batch transfer the same skills to their colleagues through a scheduled training program. By converting a trainee into a trainer, the success rate will be enhanced further besides reducing the cost of training and eventually the business operation.
Cross-training is a very powerful tool in management. It will help reduce our business operation costs by training our staff to perform various tasks in the firm. This will empower them to fill in gaps for each other in an efficient and effective manner hence helping to reduce downtimes in operations.
Entrepreneur. “Cross Training.” Entrepreneur Media, Inc. 2009.
Goessl, Leigh. “The benefits of cross-training employees.” Helium, Inc. 2009.
Weiss Garfinkel Gail. “The Benefits of Cross-Training Staff.” Robyne Wilkerson. 2009.