Having a flexible workgroup that can adapt to fluctuations in workload will make it easier for you to schedule and complete the work your team faces on a daily basis.
Cross training also helps your employees feel more valuable because they can perform different job tasks. It also adds a challenge to what could be routine and repetitive work. For physical work tasks, cross training can also help avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Here are three tips to cross train your team:
#1 Create a mastery matrix
List all the job functions in your department and the names of all your team members. Then create a circle for each entry on the chart and encourage your team members to get a completely colored in circle indicating mastery of every job in the department.
Putting four quadrants in each circle allows employees to achieve four levels of mastery for a given job function:
Level 1: Has been trained in the job task
Level 2: Can consistently perform the job task
Level 3: Is considered to have mastered the job task
Level 4: Can train others in the job task
A visual mastery matrix can motivate the team members to complete the circles which maximizes flexibility.
#2 Use effective trainers
Not everyone who is good at doing a job is good at training others to do the job. A great trainer will be good at breaking down the task so it can be learned in chunks. It is important that a thorough explanation accompanies the demonstration of the job task. And the trainer’s approach should allow the trainee to feel comfortable asking questions.
#3 Certify their proficiency
Having the trainee sign off on their own proficiency is not as effective as asking a person other than the trainer, to review the individual’s performance and certify that the person is capable at performing the job tasks.
By investing the time and energy into cross training your team, you’ll end up with a more flexible and capable workgroup that will help you hit your numbers more consistently and reduce your stress level.
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Action you can take:
Develop the leadership skills that front line supervisors, team leaders and managers need to improve safety, productivity and quality, while maximizing the involvement of all team members. Whether you need foundational skills or a specialized workshop, reach out and start a conversation today.