Train your team to be more flexible.
Imagine that the person who runs your firm's accounting reports is off sick. The problem? No one else knows how to run the reports without making mistakes. And if they aren't run, the month-end recap will be thrown into chaos.
Your organization has likely run into situations like this. Often, teams are made up of individuals with specialized skills or knowledge, and one person's absence can negatively affect the productivity of the entire group. This is especially true in smaller teams.
This is just one reason why it can be useful to cross-train people within your team. In the example above, if another member of your team had been trained to run the accounting reports, there would be no need to worry.
In this article, we'll examine the many benefits of cross-training, and we'll look at how to implement a successful cross-training program with your team.
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Volpe, C.E. et al (1996) 'The Impact of Cross-Training on Team Functioning: An Empirical Investigation,' The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Vol. 38, No. 1. (Available here.)
Arnold, J (2008) 'Kicking Up Cross-Training: Cross-Training can be a Key Component in Developing Your Employees - and Your Organization,' HR Magazine, August 2008.