How Cross-Training Employees Makes Your Entire Company Stronger

February 15, 2017

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No one said business was going to be easy. One of the most frustrating aspects can be employee complacency. In fact, with the advent of the Internet and with more jobs trending toward service, you are finding that people are constantly looking outside their current organization for professional development. With employee turnover costing businesses everywhere substantial capital, retaining your proficient employees must be a priority.

The truth is that your employees are just like your customers: they are seeking value. Value, in this case, is the expansion of duties, higher pay grades, and more direct responsibility. The problem for you, as the business owner, is that you cannot know if the person that has success in one endeavor will be as successful in another. So, while you won’t find many people that are content doing the same thing and accomplishing the same goals for adoration or small pay hikes, you don’t want to necessarily put your operations in jeopardy because someone that has been successful for you wants to try something else. If you want to keep your best people engaged, you may not have many other choices.

Employee Motivation and Your Business
The employee-employer relationship is basically the perfect symbiotic agreement between people. The business owner provides the tools to complete a job, the worker does the job, the owner pays him, and the customer pays the business owner. These roles haven’t changed much since the first enterprise began, and don’t figure to change much going forward. When individuals become complacent at their jobs, however, it puts a damper on what is possible for the business as a whole. Every business owner wants to grow their business, increase its viability within their marketplace, and expand to new markets if possible. That becomes much less possible with an organization filled with unmotivated and unhappy workers.

Most of the time, paying people more will immediately get them to do more work. This is because a raise not only improves the worker’s financial situation, it gives him/her a sense that he/she is being appreciated by the organization for a job-well-done. Many growing organizations simply cannot afford to hand out raises as they’d like, and have to resort to innovative thinking to keep their employees engaged. One way businesses are changing to respond to this uptick in employee turnover is by testing their staff’s meddle. Challenging your staff to work in all aspects of your company has shown to have some pretty impressive results for businesses that are looking to cut down on employee turnover.

Worker Rotation
If you are considering worker rotation, you should first decide whether it will actually help your organization. If you have four workers and they are all proficient in their jobs, having them learning how to do other people’s jobs, while useful, could just be a colossal waste of time. For the organization that has many seemingly complacent workers, however, rotating out of a job that they are tired of can provide workers with some serious benefits.

One benefit is obvious, it can give the worker a new sense of purpose, or at the very least, a better perspective of what other workers do within the business. Sometimes when workers that were struggling with their daily tasks get to do other people’s jobs, they immediately understand how good they have it. More often, however, it provides them with additional knowledge and training. This aspect of a rotation program provides complacent workers the value they seek from their job, in the way of professional development. Make no mistake, there may be some initial resistance from employees that have been with you for some time and are content with their position, but the majority of your staff will immediately find value from a rotation program.

Of course, to implement something that is as seemingly radical as this, your business would need to benefit; and it will. Not only will you build organizational depth, you will swiftly mitigate the disengaged, unmotivated employee. When your staff understands the workflow from beginning to end, you are sure to improve cooperation, employee relations, and overall efficiency. This strategy can go a long way toward providing individuals the occupational growth they seek, while marginalizing the immense costs that accompany employee turnover.

If you are looking for a way to get more out of your business, while improving employee morale, engagement, and overall productivity, consider the benefits of changing the way you look at your business. By accepting an employee rotation, or at the very least, implementing some sort of multi-skilling strategy for your business, you can see some pretty impressive benefits. After all, a worker that is trained in every aspect of your business can do more in your business; allowing your business to do more.

Could your business benefit from a multi-skilling strategy or employee rotation program? What do you think of the strategy? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.


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