Cross training is a term most often heard at fitness facilities. It refers to using a variety of exercise equipment and routines in your workouts in order to strengthen all muscles equally, prevent injuries from overuse, and keep things interesting for you mentally. In a workplace, the definition of cross training is teaching your employees who primarily perform certain job functions the skills needed to perform other tasks within your organization. Similarly, this helps keep your employees challenged mentally while making them a stronger asset to your company.
There are many benefits to cross training your employees.
- Training staff in a variety of tasks allows small businesses to start up and begin thriving with fewer employees and therefore lower salary expenses.
- Cross training employees helps keep your company running on all cylinders should someone be out sick unexpectedly, take maternity/paternity leave, or decide to pursue employment elsewhere. Additionally, this also saves your company money, as you will not need to hire temporary workers to fill these gaps.
- The cross training process actually results in higher job satisfaction and morale among employees, as it lets them know their employer has faith in their abilities and is keen to provide them with opportunities to grow in their career.
If you are interested in implementing cross training within your organization, it is important to start with an organized plan. A wonderful initial step would be to ask each employee or department within your company to create a list of tasks they perform each day. Once these are complete, you can alert your employees of your plans to cross train, send them the lists, then ask which tasks outside of their regular job your employees would like to learn about. It is best if you select multiple employees to learn each new function. You should also have a system in place that allows your employees to practice what they have learned, such as occasional job-swaps for the day.