When it comes to fitness, you know cross training is important. If you only ever lift weights with your arms, you may be able to arm wrestle anyone in a room but if you are challenged to a sprint, you're toast. Cross training improves athletes' overall fitness, allowing them to transition from exercise to exercise with ease.
Just like with athletes, businesses need to cross-train their employees to keep the health and wellness of their company in optimal shape. If your team isn't cross trained to step into other positions and departments, you are just like that athlete who only does arm work. Learn why you need to cross train your employees today.
You Avoid Stagnation
If you've ever worked out, you know how boring the same old routine can get. Monotony is dangerous for athletes and employees. If you have your employees doing the same work day in and day out, they get bored and lazy. Cross training your employees allows you to keep them fresh and engaged in their daily tasks. Instead doing the same-old tasks, they learn more about the company and perform better in their original job by understanding how that job ties into the rest of the company. Cross training keeps stagnation and monotony at bay.
You Stay Lean
Cross training doesn't just keep employees engaged, it also keeps your business lean. When each employee can step into multiple roles, companies no longer need to hire for every temporary need. If one department or position has a surplus of work, another employee from a less busy department can help. Your workforce becomes more dynamic and responsive to company need without requiring immediate, short-term hires. Cross training keeps your company lean so when times get tough, you can easily adjust, rather than reduce your workforce.
You Plan for Loss
While employee retention should be a priority at any workplace, there will always be situations where employees will need to leave. Family emergencies and retirement create temporary shortfalls in your schedule and a cross trained workforce can help reduce the tension and stress during the hiring process. Companies that have one job for one person create a system that allows each employee to have part of their job that nobody else can do. While employees may find that reassuring for job security, it can leave companies in a bind when that employee leaves. No employee duty should exist only to a single employee and cross training allows education to prevent that mishap from occurring. The best way to plan for future loss in the workplace is cross training all employees and all positions.
You Build Careers
Today's workforce doesn't want a job, they want a career. They want to join and become part of a company that values them, their work, and their development. Cross training is a simple and effective way to offer careers to employees without requiring money for tuition or a larger corporate ladder. By allowing all employees to have multiple job duties across many positions, they can learn what they like and what they don't about each position, making them more likely to stay with the organization but change to a department that aligns with their interests, rather than leaving for a whole new company.
While cross training takes time and effort, the return on investment is tenfold for employers. By taking the time to train employees across the organization, you not only help employees find their passion and remain excited about their workplace but also help your organization avoid unnecessary hires and a job duty vacuum when long-time employees leave.