Cross-training for employees: How to ensure future-ready workforce

Imagine your company’s accountant’s manager becoming sick. The trouble is, no one else understands how to execute the reports without error. If they’re not running it will throw into turmoil the end-of-month summary.

Your organization has probably been faced with such scenarios. Teams often consist of persons with talents or expertise, whereas absences of one person may adversely affect the productive performance of the whole group. In the smaller teams this is especially true.

This is one reason why cross-training employees on your team might be valuable. In this scenario, if another member of your staff is trained to operate the accounts, there is no reason to be concerned. 

In this post we discuss the various advantages of cross-training and analyze how you may carry on a successful cross-training program with your team.

What is employee cross-training?

Training for employees is the process through which a person imbues abilities outside his direct function. It can be hard and soft, but firms normally focus on hard skills while cross-training their staff. Soft abilities are far more ubiquitous and nearly equally applicable for each task.

For example, let us suppose that you have employed a bachelor of technology graduate to play a software development function. You see over time that the recruit has a copywriting ability. You might opt to cross-train the employees, cooperate with your marketing team, and then turn them into a job that makes beneficial use of their software development and copywriting skills.

In 2020 the vast disparity in capabilities throughout the world will require cross-training. For example, the WEF has recently stated that 82 percent of businesses are under-secured – 71 percent say this damages their firm directly. If it is not practicable for a corporation to employ one whole Cybersafety Team, one expert might be appointed a “coach” or “mentor,” who invites technology experts interested in this field to take part. Cybersecurity is just one example – you can use cross-training across a wide array of areas provided it is important for your business line and people are keen in learning. 

Tips for cross training employees

Cross-training requires a long-term plan, because cross-training programs take a lot of preparation and decision making.  For example, you have to take into account which of your staff is entitled and what skills they should teach. For the long term effectiveness and sustainability of any cross-trainings program, planning such questions is vital. 

In addition to the planning, the program managers must ask a number of essential questions:

  • Is the training open to all your staff or simply accessible for particular categories of staff?
  • Should the cross-training program be domestically or internally administered?
  • What are the business advantages and disadvantages of cross-training?
  • How much is your organization looking for its cross-training program?
  • How viable is cross-training given the current and future assets your business has?

Beside planning your company will want a list of activities and responsibilities, especially its everyday operations, for its cross-training programme.

As well as planned work, your organisation’s cross-training program must build up a list of functions and duties, notably its day-to-day work. This helps employees not only identify cross-training coverages they require, but also helps participating staff to assess the type of roles and activities they can learn. Use On-The-Job Methods Cross training employees can be done in several ways, but the best method is through direct, practical on-the-job training. In contrast with only theoretical components, for example, training through a supervisor or an on-the-job “buddy” can assist trainees understand the practical part of their job. This not just increases the effectiveness of the training procedure, it minimizes the time necessary for practical training, because trainees are trained first-hand. On-the-job training courses and workshops also allow employers to closely assess their employees’ growth and to regularly review their performance.

For example, supervisors might analyze how successfully their trainees perform their increased tasks in various elements. More significantly though, students may study while doing so, and this helps them absorb what they learn and hence recognize the value of their abilities to the general objectives and demands of their firm. But, take notice that utilizing this strategy your business will need to coach it’s trainers how to teach others.

Cross-trained employees usually need a lot of time in order to absorb information, and this also applies to on-the-job lessons. Therefore if your business decides to do so, be ready to manage the workload of everybody properly. They may concentrate on their training and practice without being worried. When possible, successful cross-training programs generally receive a lot of support, not only from the trainees, but also from senior management.

As for managers, they need to be convinced that cross training can benefit both the company and the personnel. In this sense, people are more likely to support it. It’s also worth mentioning that many cross training programs often encounter resistance from employees, because they see it as an added workload. One technique to deal with this issue is by reducing the daily burden of each staff member so that they can take care of their training. Another way is to provide remuneration packages and unique incentives for people who are prepared to take part in the training. For example, a pay for skill scheme may encourage additional personnel to participate, thus increasing support for the entire program.

For various reasons, broad support for cross-training is vital. First of all, the morality of the trainees is guaranteed. Second, it lets everyone realize that their jobs are not at risk. And last, it all allows without a hitch. In brief, your firm may secure the success of its cross-training initiatives and develop the capacity of its employees by receiving the assistance of everyone.

Talentnet, the world’s top human resources advisor in Vietnam, uses its salary framework with the latest technology, a high degree of protection, a deep understanding of labor legislation and applicable HR solutions to make it an excellent long-term human resources collaborator. Email us to find out how Talentnet can save you time, resources and highly competent people willing to accomplish your task.

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