Employee turnover and reduced staff during these challenging times makes it more important than ever to cross-train employees. Cross-training involves teaching an employee hired to perform one job function the skills required to perform other job functions. For example, having everyone trained on the use and function of commonly used tools and workflows can help your business stay ahead of things when someone needs to take a vacation or is out sick. There are times when industry information is very much at risk when only one person has access to that information. Here is why it’s so essential to invest in cross-training.

Learning from the World of Sports

In sports, the benefits of cross-training are clear. By mixing different activities into a regular workout, routine one can avoid overuse injuries, balance the development between muscle groups, and prevent boredom. The same may be said of cross-training in the workplace. Employees involved in cross-training programs become skilled at tasks outside the usual parameters of their jobs and become much greater assets for their company while gaining knowledge and skills that benefit them both personally and professionally.

Cross-Training in Small Business

Many small businesses use cross-training practices regularly, although in a less formal manner than is usually written about in business journals. When an entrepreneur starts a business and makes those first hiring decisions, they will naturally look for candidates who appear to possess the flexibility to handle multiple and often unrelated jobs. The term “jack of all trades” is often considered a benefit in candidates looking to join a role working for a small business. Frankly, in a small business, it is often the norm to wear more than one hat.

Cross-Training Increases Flexibility and Productivity

Cross-training programs are a way to more formally organize the process of getting employees prepared to do more than a single job. These programs offer a wide variety of benefits for businesses. For example, a well-designed program can help reduce costs, improve employee morale, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. It can also give a company greater scheduling flexibility and may even lead to operational improvements. Perhaps the most important benefit that accrues to companies that implement cross-training programs is greater job satisfaction among employees.

Cross-training demonstrates that the company has faith in employees’ abilities and wants to provide them with opportunities for career growth. When companies are always trying to accomplish more work with fewer workers, anything that helps to motivate and retain employees can be worthwhile. Cross-trained employees often feel that their jobs have been enriched. They are often able to contribute more to a firm by coming up with creative solutions based on drawing upon their knowledge of different company systems.

Contact ESGI for More Advice

For more advice on how to hire and train multi-talented employees, connect with the team at ESGI today.

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