With flexible working arrangements growing in popularity, cross-training employees to be proficient in different roles is essential. This better prepares your organization to handle unforeseen challenges, disruptions, and disasters without facing huge losses.
Cross-training also helps your employees learn new skills and assume an irreplaceable position in your organization, giving them more confidence about their career progression and stability. Here are five simple tips for conducting effective cross-training programs:
Don’t force every employee to participate in cross-training programs. Some may perceive it as additional work added on to their already very busy lives. Help interested employees select a skill that is related to their current job in some way, and provide incentives and rewards for those who do participate to garner further interest.
Consult with internal stakeholders to make a list of the most important functions in your organization. Then, discuss with your team managers to understand what it takes to succeed in that particular job function. This will allow you to create useful courses that benefit employees as they move up the ladder in your organization.
Choose the right instructors, delivery platform, learning materials, and learning style to make the courses more engaging for your employees.
Adopt practical skill assessment techniques to evaluate how much your employees have understood a certain cross-training course. This will help you improve the courses over time and, if necessary, provide supplemental material for those that already completed them.
Skills gaps are one thing, but it’s also important to optimize the courses for learning style, trainer effectiveness, and overall enjoyment. Receive feedback from your employees to identify these shortcomings, if there are any, and make adjustments where necessary.
Cross-training programs can be beneficial both to your organization and your employees in several ways. Your employees get to explore new roles and expand their skill set, while your organization will grow consistently in spite of challenging situations. Read more detailed information about how to organize cross-training programs in our HR Knowledge Hive.