The Value of Cross Training in the Organization
Published: Monday, July 27, 2020 written by Andy Flagg
View Count: 42
Keywords: Cross Training, Professional Development, Business Continuity, Quality Control
In my last 35 years of corporate experience and twenty eight years of education (k-12, higher ed, graduate + dm), the need to have our teams educated is vital.
How do we do that? How do we do that affordably?
There are several ways:
1. self taught continuous training - employee driven
2. cross training - employer driven
3. professional development - employee and employer driven
4. external training - industry driven
5. ad hoc training - project driven
For each of these, I like cross training and professional development the most when it comes to being a team leader. When it comes to being an individual, then self taught continuous life training is the solution.
Individuals learn differently: some audio, some reading, some hands on, some lecture, some laboratory, some projects, some beta and team challenges, etc.
Teams learn differently: some need a project management and documentation control, and quality control to maintain team training and change management control. Some need logs and training docs, and team trainers within the team. We use to call it TTT (train the trainer) initiatives that helped teams agree to a team lead trainer; and sometimes its not the boss, but a technical leader, not necessarily the managerial leader. The managerial business leader approves specific resources and the scope of the training as in $ allocated over so much time with controls, KPIs and metrics, etc; while the technical person decides the content and overall objectives and end results; team growth, testing, competency etc.
Cross training is unique per industry. It can be properly done when approved and adjusted carefully to help promote overall business stability and employee morale, growth, and innovation.
The best overall solution is to have a solution. Some employers believe training is expensive and can inhibit sales and success, and on the other hand it might contribute to turnover and job dissatisfaction; while on the other hand it can help the company grown and stimulate innovation. It just depends on the industry, the employer, the team dynamics, and the leaderships willingness to see, adapt, stability, change, and maintain progress, healthy progress.
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