“Flexibility” has become one of the biggest business buzzwords of the 21st century – and for good reason. Cross-training offers flexibility by giving your employees the abilities they need to “fill in” roles outside their primary job responsibilities.
Here are six of the top reasons to consider cross-training employees. Your staffing partner can help you approach cross-training effectively for your organization.
Reduce costs by leveraging internal talent.
When you focus on teaching new skills to employees, your organization can reduce the costs of recruiting new candidates from outside the organization. The “onboarding” process is significantly shortened or even eliminated, since learning a new skill within the company fits together with learning how your organization needs that skill to be used.
Groom employees for promotions, management, and additional responsibilities.
Employees become management material by knowing their team’s work inside and out. When you cross-train employees within a department, you give them the technical know-how they need to manage a team, allowing you to focus on other top managerial skills – like communication, vision, and conflict resolution – when choosing whom to promote.
Save productivity even when employees are absent.
The occasional illness, injury, or family emergency simply can’t be avoided. But when one employee is absent for a day or two, staff can more easily “cover” for that absence if they’re already familiar with the employee’s key tasks. For short-term absences, cross-training can smooth out any potential dips in productivity without requiring the organization to consider temp help.
Boost motivation by investing in employees’ career growth.
Sometimes, the best motivators are non-monetary rewards. By offering cross-training, a company demonstrates that it is genuinely interested in the career growth and learning opportunities available for its workers. It also allows the most motivated and passionate workers to “self-select” into cross-training opportunities, identifying your company’s “rising stars” with less effort.
Staff more strategically.
By cross-training, you expand the skill sets available in your organization, helping you avoid dips in productivity due to “skills gaps” that open up when experienced employees retire or leave. Cross-training also helps an organization staff more strategically. When you know what your staff can do, you also know what they can’t do – which allows you to coordinate with your staffing partner to tailor your next search for external talent.
Use temporary help more effectively.
Temporary staff can be an excellent choice when your organization faces a special project, a temporary increase in workflow, or a significant skills gap that cross-training cannot fill. Develop a better sense of when you need to bring in temp staff – with the investment in onboarding that it entails – and when you can trust your current staff to handle a change in circumstances by offering cross-training.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced staffing partners can help you find employees who can help you fill a looming “skills gap” and who offer a great cultural fit. Contact us today to learn more.