Creating a Cross-Training Plan

Creating a Cross-Training Plan

You may find that certain employees are simply indispensable. They may not be your best workers, but they have skills that no one else in your office has and your company would grind to a halt if they quit or were terminated. Rather than hand over so much power to a small number of employees, it is a better idea to cross-train your workers with the perfect cross-training plan.

Have A Plan In Place

Cross-training is something that should never be left up to chance. Some workers are prone to falling into complacency and performing the same tasks they are familiar with. To better cross-train employees, you will need to clarify exactly when cross-training will occur and who will be cross-trained for what roles.

Cross-training is not something that can be performed in a single day. It is a long-term process, especially if it is to be done properly.

Identify All Tasks Performed By Your Employees

The first step is to identify all of the tasks that are performed by your employees. Then, you must determine which tasks require special training and which tasks could be performed by anyone. The tasks that require special training are the ones that your employees must be cross-trained into.

Identify The Tasks Performed By Indispensable Employees

Next, determine which tasks only have a limited number of employees who have been trained to perform these tasks. These are the indispensable positions that you will need to prioritize for cross-training. While you may need to encourage employees to be cross-trained into certain tasks, it is more efficient to cross-train employees who have shown an interest in diversifying their skills.

Cross-Train Tasks That Are Connected

Also, look for tasks that are connected in some way. When one task must be performed in order to perform another task, it would make sense to train an employee on how to perform both tasks so he or she can complete the process more efficiently. For instance, it makes sense to train sales representatives on how to use CRM software so that they can sell more efficiently. Pay attention to how your business is growing and determine which skills are needed to continue to facilitate this growth.

Consult With Your Employees

Your employees likely know more than anyone else the skills that should be candidates for cross-training. Collaborate with them to create a cross-training program that will be beneficial to everyone. You will also help your employees feel more valued by giving them a say in how they are trained.

Handling Employees Who Are Resistant To Change

Employees who are indispensable may feel resistant to assist in the cross-training process. Being indispensable may be a point of pride and employees may also be concerned that cross-training may make it morel likely that they could be replaced. The best remedy for this problem is to create a culture of collective success. Help employees understand that by cross-training, they will be better able to help fellow co-workers in their time of need and will also receive assistance in their own times of need. It is essential to get your most skilled employees on-board because they will be the ones performing the majority of the cross-training.

Reduce The Workload

Have less expectations placed on your employees while they are cross-training or being cross-trained. If necessary, subcontract some of the work that must be performed so that your employees can focus on cross-training. While this may increase your expenses temporarily, your cross-training efforts will be more successful and your employees will not feel resentful.

In some cases, it may make more sense to have employees cross-trained externally. For instance, there are often courses that will tech employees how to perform certain software programs. External training may be more thorough and may teach skills that your employees may not have acquired. Also, you will not be taking your employees away from essential tasks. However, the downside of training employees externally is that there are sometimes unique concerns your business may have that would not be taught through an external program.

Recognize Employees Who Participate

Employees who have completed a cross-training program or who have cross-trained another employee should be recognized and rewarded. Also, new responsibilities should be given out both so these employees can feel that there was a purpose for all of that work and to ensure that new skills are not lost.

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