Have you ever wondered the consequences if a person running your company's accounting reports goes on sick leave? Your month-end accounting records would be a mess as no other employee knows how to prepare the error-free reports.
Any business can face such situations. Teams of employees with particular expertise or knowledge often result in business losses when a single member goes missing. This is because the productivity of the entire team gets affected adversely. This usually happens in smaller teams. However, you can easily handle this issue with a cross-training plan template. Let's find out what cross-training is all about and how it can boost your business growth.
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What Does Employee Cross Training Mean?
When you train an employee to perform a few tasks that belong to a different job role, it is called cross-training. This means the employee gains expertise in skills necessary for another job role and his primary job role.
For instance, employee A can perform tasks that employee B does with cross-training. The principal objectives of cross-training employees include:
- enhance your employee's skillset
- improve flexibility within your company and enhance employee's productivity
- help your employees to understand how a business works on each level
Cross-training identifies your company's essential operations and tasks and enables multiple individuals to perform such tasks whenever needed. In this way, cross-training promotes the professional development of every employee while working towards the accomplishment of business goals.
Why is Employee Cross Training Necessary?
A business that follows the strategy of employee cross-training maintains stability and offers work flexibility across the team members. An organization that lacks backups for important roles can shatter easily due to the unavailability of key personnel. With cross-trained workforce, you can handle these contingencies in no time.
Additionally, cross-training offers your employees broad exposure to various job roles. This helps them analyze how their actions impact the business dealings and why every job role is vital for the company's success.
Likewise, you need not worry if a team member quits the job or goes on leaves. This is because a cross-trained employee is ready to fill the vacant position.
Benefits of Cross-Training of Employees
When you think of implementing an employee cross-training plan, you must first analyze the benefits it can bring to your organization. Following are a few significant benefits of employee cross-training.
Reduced Costs of Hiring
Cross-training helps in reducing hiring costs. With a skilled team willing to take the job already, you do not outsource or hire another employee to fill the vacant position. This saves both time and money and brings a significant boost to ROI. According to a study conducted by Wharton, external hires show higher exit rates and poor performance than internal employees.
Better Teamwork and Enhanced Collaboration
An employee with a wider-skill set can collaborate and engage with more team members on various projects. Conversely, an employee with a single skill faces hurdles in collaborating with others. Thus, cross-training promotes better teamwork and collaboration.
Improves Employee Engagement
Cross-training increases employee engagement and keeps them motivated. Every employee wants to grow personally and professionally within the organization. If you offer employees mobility and growth opportunities through cross-training and developing new skills, they stay motivated.
Adds More Sustainability to your Business
Your company becomes more sustainable with employee cross-training. This means your business would not fall apart due to the sudden absence of a key employee in a particular department. Cross-trained employees know how to handle such issues and keep moving towards business goals.
Enhance Employee Efficiency
Cross-training requires every department to identify valuable skills that other employees can learn. This activity improves employee efficiency as the effective transmission of skills needs them to study thoroughly and gain adequate knowledge.
How to Create a Cross Training Plan?
A thoughtful implementation of the employee training plan is the cornerstone of business success. Therefore, it is significant to know the format and what to include in the plan for its smooth execution.
Here is a guide for creating an employee cross-training plan template that you can customize according to your business.
Step 1: Worksheet Creation: Make different columns for every department on a worksheet. Use column(A) to list down all the job roles. Use Column (B) to write the name of employees hired for those positions. In the next column (C), you must state tasks that demand training. Finally, in Column (D), mention the name of those employees you think are capable enough to get training to fulfill the roles of an absent worker.
Step 2: Modify Job Description: Thoroughly go through the job description of each employee. If required, update or change the job responsibilities.
Step 3: Pinpoint Critical Tasks and skills: The next step is to find out the most critical tasks essential to carry out in any case. Highlight these tasks in the job description. You also need to underline the skills needed to complete those crucial tasks successfully.
Step 4: Find Capable employees for cross-training: You have to find star employees of your company that can be cross-trained to take the place of workers listed in column B. Look in different departments because you will need a lot of employees as a substitute.
Step 5: Plan and Communicate: Now that you have identified and written all the essential tasks on the cross-training form, it is time to design a training plan. It is necessary to express your objectives to your workforce before deciding on an employee for cross-training. Explain all the reasons for introducing cross-training as the team members might fear you intend to replace them. Also, you need their cooperative nature as they will be the ones executing all training sessions.
Step 6: Find Proficient Trainers: For each department, look out for experienced and expert employees in their job. Appoint them as trainers to cross-train workers in other departments.
If you follow the above step-by-step guide, you can accomplish fantastic employee cross-training sessions. This will help maintain production rates that might have suffered due to an absent employee.
If you are running a business with a limited number of workers or seeking ways to increase your existing team members' value and efficiency, you must cross-train employees.
The primary objective of cross-training is to develop the skills of everyone in the organization. In this way, each employee knows what it takes to operate a successful business. The concept is to empower your workforce so they are capable enough to provide support during hectic times rather than overloading a single person or outsourcing others.
Create an employee cross-training plan template using our WayBook tool. This will enable your employees to shine in all capabilities and help your business become stronger.
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