It’s natural that every organization while hiring their employees to look for people who have the capability to handle tasks even if they are not related to the required job role. Thus, organizations all around the world are planning to have cross-training programs for their employees as part of their training.
Cross training in corporate training refers to the method of training employees on job functions other than those related to their job profiles. These training programs enable employees to become skilled and proficient at different tasks that are outside the parameters of their job role. A well-designed cross-training program offers a wide range of benefits for the organizations in terms of improved employee morale, reduced costs, and turnovers, along with enhanced productivity. It also increases workforce flexibility.
Benefits of cross training in an organization
- Cross-functional training provides a great opportunity for a company to have a ‘plan B’ when ‘plan A’ fails to succeed. For example, when we receive a high-priority project from one of the clients, and suddenly, the employee who is capable of handling such projects becomes injured or ill, then these newly trained employees can replace them and proceed with the project development within the estimated timelines and budgets that meet client expectations. This enhances the flexibility and adaptability of the organization to make use and implement the prospects.
- Cross training also builds corporate understanding between the employees as they are trained on multiple job roles. This enables employees to understand what the other department employee is facing as a problem during his job role. As all the tasks performed by all the employees are interrelated, awareness about different job functions or departments to the employees enables them to carry out their job roles efficiently, thereby enhancing the productivity.
- It is a well-known fact that employees show great zeal and enthusiasm when matters are directly related to their career or personal growth. Cross-training programs stir the employees’ motivation levels by training them on multiple job roles and changing routines.
Cross training is implemented in almost all companies and how it is structured depends entirely upon the organizational functions. Based on the adaptability, proficiency, and available infrastructure, there are multiple ways to execute these cross-training programs.
Before you choose the training methodology (online learning or blended learning), all the learning leaders should make a thorough feasibility study about all the departments within the organization. The study should determine:
- Which functions/resources participate in the training?
- What responsibilities are shortlisted?
- Who, when, and to what extent are the functions be involved?
Cross-functional training through e-learning
But, how can organizations impart highly effective cross-training programs? They can have classroom training sessions, e-learning, or blended learning to serve this purpose. Among all types of training methods, online training, or e-learning methods yield good results in terms of being less labor intensive and more affordable. Cross training enables employees to stay on the floor by managing their own job role and getting trained on other job functions.
E-learning is a perfect mode of delivering cross-functional training, particularly during the new employee orientation training where a newly joined employee needs information about the different departments in the organization. In order to do so, all modules should be properly organized to involve and educate the learner about a function or department for which they are not currently hired for. If your choice is to launch your cross-functional training through e-learning, it offers enormous benefits to the organization. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
Reduced training durations using byte-sized modules
Online training includes byte-sized modules with reduced training duration of around 10-15 minutes. Employees in the organization can go through these mini modules to get an overview or information about a particular department or function within the organization. These modules are easy to handle, engage the learners, and help them to retain knowledge gained. Also, due to the shorter duration of the training modules, the retention, acceptance, and applicability of the information learned on the job will be relatively higher when compared to the knowledge acquired through longer training sessions.
Just-in-time and self-paced
E-learning helps provide just-in-time support and facilitates self-paced training. Learners can access the required information about the organization anytime, anywhere. This facilitates learning at the point of need on the device of his choice. It also enables learners to perform tasks on hand. For example, to train the employees on the manufacturing safety measures, a short video with a safety measures checklist can be provided.
E-learning courses are comparatively inexpensive than classroom training programs. This is because you can develop an online course once and use it as many times as you want. Also, there is no need for an instructor in case of an online learning.
Organizations should strictly include cross-training programs in order to ensure that they continue to retain and attract skilled manpower. Also, it becomes very essential to support, nurture by training, and prepare your available manpower to face future challenges and requirements of the organization with respect to knowledge and skills.
Hope this blog was informative. Please share your thoughts and opinions on this subject!