This article has been contributed by Mr. Sagar Pandey, Head of Human Relations, Swastika Investmart Limited
Most companies are understaffed most of the time. So, while the human resources department is busy filling the vacancies created by people who are on notice or about to leave, they get stacked with new openings.
This, in turn, traps the entire onboarding team in a vicious circle. Attracting the right candidate for a particular job can be a tough task. Segregating skills and funneling out the ideal person is all essential to save the time involved in the hiring process.
Obtaining a talented candidate's attention is another difficult process. Moreover, maintaining overall efficiency and avoiding unwanted disruptions to sustain the incessant workflow is imperative. Well, in such instances, cross-training could function as a lifesaver and could solve multiple problems at once.
We've all heard "Jack of all trades, but master of none," but this is only half the truth. This adage can be paraphrased as "Jack of all trades, but master of none is frequently better than master of one.”
Cross-training could help nurture "jack of all trades" by making employees learn the skills from other departments or by contributing to operations that are beyond their department, such that their daily vital results are not affected, and this could be helpful in multiple ways.
Simply put, it is the practice of training employees for several positions within a single corporation. In contrast to the traditional practice of having specialized personnel who are not expected to perform outside of their tightly defined tasks, cross-training programs provide significant benefits to both employees and corporates.
The Many Benefits
Firstly, cross-training programs could help in rebalancing the workload between overloaded and underloaded employees which in turn could lead to a smoother flow of work. Division of work is no doubt crucial but finding a balance between workload and segregating the duties during dire times helps in the overall efficiency of the firm. Secondly, cross-training is also an excellent practice to induce a sense of ownership or intrapreneurship amongst employees since they are not just contributing to what they are supposed to but also to where they want to. Moreover, this also grooms the employee’s thought process by making them see what is going on beyond their department and, in turn, have a consolidated view of the problem that the organization is solving at large.
For the Dire Times
Finding someone to step in for an urgent position or vacancy can be challenging, especially if each department only has a single worker. Cross-training allows individuals to work in multiple positions amid serious instances. This further boosts productivity in times of increased demand or workforce shortages. Employees can assist each other in collaborative projects thus, increasing the supply of quality inputs.
Cross-training programs can further assist businesses in emphasizing their commitment to tackling workplace challenges such as diversity and inclusion. Employees have the chance to broaden their skill sets and work duties through cross-training.
A new distinctive work might provide opportunities for the advancement of an employee while concurrently keeping them motivated and engaged. Effective engagement plays a great role in the overall teamwork of any firm. Teams get stronger as a result of their increased sense of value inside the company.
Leveraging the Inside Talent
These days, it is often observed that the management is looking forward to starting a new stream of ventures aligned with its current operations. Then in such cases, cross-training could be a technique that could do wonders by utilizing the unique traits of the existing workforce and, in return, help the company save time, money, and effort. For instance, companies that are planning to go digital are asking employees who have some knowledge about SEO, social media algorithms, content creation, etc., to contribute to the process rather than hiring a completely new team for this task. A company can save a lot of time required in onboarding and training new employees and instead invest in current employees who have a much better idea of how intra-department functioning works and have a concise picture of the problem that the company is working on.
Being vital and required is a source of self-esteem for certain workers. Everybody likes to get something more than just an acknowledgment. It is necessary for any firm that appreciates its employees' capacity for mutual assistance. It further promotes the idea that single points of failure are a weakness that affects the entire organization rather than individual positions. Employees should be shown that their willingness to assist their co-workers in need will be beneficial to them when they require more assistance.
It has also been observed that employees’ learning curves start flattening after joining corporations, and they get indulged in a daily mundane life cycle, busy doing repetitive tasks. To resolve this aspect, cross-training could do wonders by not just steepening the learning curve again but also adding new tasks in a 9-to-5 job, making it exciting again. However, the preliminary note is that cross-training is more efficient when employees are given a chance to choose their domain of experimentation, but either way, cross-training has proven itself to be an efficient and pragmatic methodology.
Briefly, cross-training is a proven and efficient practice that could solve various problems in an organization and smooth out the work operation without hiring new workers. Therefore, reducing costs for the organization and ultimately adding to the mutual growth of both the firm and its employees.
What Is an Example of Cross-Training in Corporate?
For example, if person A knows about handling a customer's problem then he or she can learn other skills like identifying and addressing problems within products or services offered by the company or for that matter learning sales skills.
How Do You Create a Cross-Training Program?
First, identify a few skills that you want your employees to learn and also related to your company's work. Second, hire good trainers to teach them and also make your employees aware of the benefits of cross-training and finally, put a reward system for the best performers.
What Are the 12 Benefits of Cross-Training?
The twelve benefits of Cross-Training are:
- Rebalancing the workload
- Inducing a sense of Ownership
- Grooms employee's thought process
- Better collaboration and understanding
- Improves problem-solving skills
- Improves efficiency
- Makes the company more acrobatic
- Great ROI on investment
- Builds empathy for other's work
- Boosts team spirit
- Increases workforce sustainability
- Improves efficiency
What Is the Purpose of Cross-Training?
The purpose of Cross-Training Program is to train the employees in many skills rather than in one specific skill. It helps them to build professionally well-rounded and good team workers.