Importance of Cross Training in the Workplace

October 21, 2015

By John Yurkschatt, Director of IT for DCA

While cross training is popular in sports and a great way of developing fitness, there’s another type of cross training that has become popular in business that is beneficial to the fitness and overall health of both companies and employees.

Businesses should think of cross training as a disaster recovery plan.  Implemented correctly, it will help a business to run smoothly in the event there is an absence of one or more key players.  Whereas, employees should think of cross training as a way to become more valuable to the company.

Let’s look closer at the cross training benefits for employers as well as employees:

For Employers:

Mitigate risk.  With cross training, organizations are better equipped to recover quickly from disruptions and handle transitions gracefully.  To be specific, employees will be able to easily step into other roles to make sure the job gets done especially in the event that a key employee leaves.

Discover leaders.  Cross training can uncover some people’s hidden talents.  Companies may see an employee not only be able to learn and perform new duties but emerge as a leader and motivator to others.

Enhance teamwork & boost morale.  Cross training helps employees to appreciate each other’s jobs and recognize all the duties of their co-workers that they may have overlooked before.

Higher efficiency & productivity. Cross training forces teams to refine processes by making them take a hard look at the way they do things as they train others.

Recruiting tool. Today’s young workers want greater satisfaction from their work. They are geared toward seeking employment that allows them to learn new skills. Therefore, employers are more likely to attract and keep good employees.

Derive Cost Savings.  Depending upon the business, once employees have been cross trained, a company may not need to hire as many workers.  Additionally, employees hone and increase skills enabling them to work in multiple areas. The business should see costs go down and efficiency go up.

For Employees:

Growth opportunity.  Cross trained employees may be considered for a promotion faster than others.  Employers may find that an employee has a special talent in a different role.

Increase employee satisfaction.  Employers that cross train have noticed a decrease in employee boredom and stagnation and an increase in productivity and value.

Develop new skills. Cross training allows your employees to build their professional, technical, and soft skills. By building their skill sets they feel more confident and valuable to the organization.

Build teams & relationships.  Cross training gives employees a chance to build new relationships with people they might otherwise never have contact with. These relationships will help with teamwork and gain a better understanding of the bigger picture.

Higher motivation.  Recognition in the form of training and development works wonders for employee motivation because it’s proof the company is investing the necessary time and resources for employees to acquire new skills. An employee who believes their employer is genuinely concerned about their career development, is likely to exhibit an increased level of job satisfaction and motivation.

Cross training can be used in almost any position in almost any industry.  If you have cross training experience or story, please comment below.

7 Factors That Influence Whether You Get Hired or Not by Barb Miller, DRI

What is going through a hiring manager’s head when selecting a candidate? There are 7 top factors that influence their decision making about whether you get hired:

A Great Resume.
To get noticed in the first place, you have to have an impressive resume. Remember, your resume is the first impression the hiring manager will have of you. Keep it current and fresh. Also, look at other people’s resume typical to your industry and check how yours compares.

Showing Long-Term Potential.
Employers want people in their organization to work their way up and grow with the company. Flags go up if they see that you like to change jobs every 2 years.  So if asked where you see yourself in 5 years, it’s best to say that you envision your future at the company on a continued success track.

Ability to Get Along with Others.
Since you will spend a lot of time with co-workers, employers want to make sure you have the ability to work well with lots of different people. Also, employees who have a sense of belonging with their co-workers tend to be happier at their jobs.

A Clean Online Presence.
These days, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager found you through social media in the first place. Turn your social media presence into a positive by making sure your public profiles are appropriate and kept up to date.

The Right Skills and Experience.
Having the right hard and soft skills with experience in the industry will put you ahead of the pack. Employers want to know that you can contribute from day one.

Giving Specific Examples.
Hiring Managers want people who can prove that they will increase the organization’s revenues, decrease costs or help it succeed in some way. Provide specific examples in your interview of how you were able to contribute elsewhere and quantify your work if you can.

Positive Attitude.
Just about every hiring manager will be excited about a candidate who is enthusiastic and gives off positive vibes. People are attracted to happy and positive people. If you lack experience and skills, this could be your trump card.

If you’re a Hiring Manager, what else has influenced your decision to hire a specific candidate?