The last time I’d been to a mobile service center with my handset that was stuck on the boot screen for a long time, I experienced something I would say, not very pleasant. I told the service representative my mobile wasn’t just moving beyond the boot screen. She asked me to wait for the technician who took around 2 hours to take charge. After he came, all he did was press the Reset button at the back of the handset which did the magic. Had the service rep been taught basic service procedures such as this, it would have saved my time. Cross-functional training not only helps employees learn new skills, but also makes your job as a supervisor easy, not to mention boosting the productivity of the organization.
Here’s how cross-functional training helps your company:
- Increases Employee Proficiency: Cross-functional training focuses more on increasing the proficiencies of employees by providing additional knowledge and information of other teams’ responsibilities in the organization. For example, if you train your salesforce on basic service procedures for the products they sell, it would help them address their customers’ queries with more accurate information. Same is the case with service professionals. Imagine your service personnel on-site with a customer asking him about the features of your new product and all he has to say is “Sorry I know nothing about it”. You’re probably losing a potential customer there.
- Reduces Cost and Time: When was the last time you to sat late-night at office to clear the work of your absent employee? In day-to-day business life, one of the challenges organizations face is the inevitable absence of employees from work. This may lead to delays in delivering work and long production hours. If you have a multi-skilled and trained workforce readily available, you can simply adjust the workforce and that will help in on-time delivery. Cross-functional training can also reduce sudden recruitment costs and save the company’s money.
- Promotes Team Work: I recently had to sit and settle an argument between two of my resources each of whom assumed their job role was superior to the other. This is quite a common sight in an organization with people from various disciplines. Cross-functional training helps employees understand the importance of their own jobs as well as others’ jobs in the organization. Cross-functional training highly promotes team work and increases team spirit, thereby being helpful in building a healthy and positive work environment. Cross-functional training is a synergistic approach, as in this training, employees get to understand and appreciate the other teams’ hard work and various challenges they face in their work life.
- Boosts Employee Loyalty (Indirectly): Cross-functional training increases the competencies and abilities of employees. Training them on new stuff gives employees the impression they are valued. They identify their own importance in the organization and feel privileged to see the efforts made by the company to develop them professionally. Employees remain engaged and competitive all the time with the help of this training. They also feel more secure and confident as they can see many more opportunities readily available within the company.
I find these reasons compelling enough to kick start a cross-functional training, do you? Do you think cross-functional training could be the path to increasing your organization’s productivity without hiring new resources every time a project comes in?