How to Effectively Cross-train Employees

Cross-training employees is of great benefit to the employees being trained, their colleagues, and the company as a whole. Numerous companies are instituting cross-training programs, both as a way to increase productivity and as an adaptive strategy in an economy where businesses are having to get by with fewer employees. “A company that cares about its culture, employee morale, and long-term employee loyalty is going to first need to deal with the communications and branding challenges of starting this program,” said Barrie Gross, founder of a San Francisco-based human resources training and consulting firm, and a former senior employment attorney. “[Businesses are] being smarter about not just trying to replace the people they lost, but having people trained so they can grow with the company when it begins to grow again. To have a future role in the company that may not exist yet should be important to any employee.” Richard Hadden, founder of leadership training firm Contented Cows, said that cross-training is more like skill-sharing “because what you’re really doing is helping people acquire an additional set of skills… Cross-training is generally considered for the benefit of the organization, but really it’s for the benefit of the employee. You’re making them more valuable to the workplace as a whole, and to your company.” 

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