Cross-training can provide a
benefit for employees, management and customers in organizations of all sizes. It’s a must when there is only one person
with the specific expertise to get a job done. Payroll
is a function where cross-training is not left to chance. another employee has
to be trained as back up if there is only one
person with payroll responsibilities, whether they complete the process from
start to finish or provide data to an external provider. Have you ever you told an employee they would not
receive a paycheck because the Payroll manager was on vacation, or out on
Cross-training saves money beyond covering essential tasks.
Projects and assignments can be divided to respond to priorities. Responsibilities
can be reassigned to align with changing requirements, minimizing the need for
new hires or extensive training. A cross-trained workforce adapts to change
more quickly, has better response time and is more flexible.
Employees like to be cross trained. New skills and knowledge
make them more valuable to an employer. Yes they may be more valuable to a
future employer but this is always a risk when developing employees. People
like to break up a routine. Cross training also provides a new perspective and
appreciation of the job requirements of another position. This improves work
relationships, teamwork and can identify areas for process improvement.
Effective cross-training begins with identifying the skill
and knowledge gap that needs to be filled. Don’t wait until a vacation or
absence to throw someone into a job and call that cross-training. This tactic
is not fair to the employee taking on the new responsibility or the incumbent
in the job. No one will be happy when paychecks are incorrect and the
Payroll Manager faces the extra work of fixing the errors when they return.
Cross-training provides seamless service for both internal
external customers. When more than one person is prepared to respond answers,
proposals and products can be provided without waiting for one “expert” to
return from a break. Don’t give a customer a good reason to call another
company because your staff is not available.
How have you used cross training effectively?