6 Ways Cross-Training Improves Your Small Business

January 19, 2022 | 237 views

6 Ways Cross-Training Improves Your Small Business
6 Ways Cross-Training Improves Your Small Business

Cross-training employees provide benefits to both employers and employees. Instead of each employee performing only limited, specified functions, a cross-trained employee can fulfill another employee’s responsibilities if needed. But it is more than finding a worthy “fill-in” for a sick employee. Cross-training builds skills across the company and improves the value of all employees.

Employees become more valuable as they grow professionally and broaden their skill sets. As employees learn and understand others’ roles, they will be more collaborative. Stronger workplace relationships help build a stronger team of colleagues who work well together.

Employees will appreciate the opportunity to learn. While some might use their new skills for a job elsewhere, do not fear attrition. Employees appreciate your efforts to improve their opportunities. And that well-trained staff enhances the health of your small business:

  1. Employees are more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive and add to greater profit. They become more involved and interested in new assignments. And with more involved and capable employees, the more your small business will grow.
  2. Lower turnover. A more highly skilled employee may have more opportunities outside your organization, but the risk of attrition is lower when employees see their value and know they contribute meaningful work. Lower turnover reduces costs of hiring and (re)training.
  3. Increase scheduling flexibility. Cross-trained employees do more than cover for a sick employee. Their broader range of skills offers you more flexibility in scheduling. You no longer need to rely on a single person to fill specific responsibilities. Your business operation is not interrupted by employee absences.
  4. Improved processes. One important result of cross-training is the increase in employee understanding of goals. As they learn more about the “big picture,” they will naturally find ways to make your operation more efficient. Whether it’s a simple operational process or a way to expand marketing, broader knowledge brings a wider set of improvements.
  5. The cream will rise. When we hire employees, we sometimes are delighted when they demonstrate broader initiative and abilities. Cross-training will highlight those people who show their dedication and aptitude. When there is an opportunity to promote a cross-trained employee, it will be more obvious which one is the best candidate to advance your small business.
  6. Less stress on you. When others can cover and run your business, you don’t have to shoulder as much. Cross-training will build confidence that your team can handle most day-to-day challenges by working together on solutions. When you give them knowledge, the whole operation doesn’t rely upon you for every decision.

A staff of cross-trained employees more easily covers your business’s critical functions. By ensuring continuity in your operation, you enhance the employee’s value and the value of your small business. And with greater skills across your team, your organization will have engaged employees who improve your business and profitability.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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