In athletics, cross-training has long been seen as a way to improve one’s over all performance and strength. The reason is simple: When you cross-train, you are able to refine and enhance every muscle in your body, and it impacts your broader performance. This is why runners are add yogi to their workout routines and swimmers add weight training. The same logic holds true in the workplace. When one cross-trains, their over all performance is heightened. For organizations, however, there are also benefits: Cross-training prepares employees for new positions, helps set them up to step in when people are on leave, and take on leadership roles. Of course, training requires resources and time. Fortunately, using a learning management system (LMS) is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to scale up one’s cross-training efforts.

Cross-Train Like a Pro

To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What tasks or skills are already connected and can be easily put into a cross-training sequence?
  2. What tasks or skills are most in demand?
  3. What tasks or skills are employees most eager to acquire?
  4. How might cross-training enhance teams? Ask teams for feedback before getting started.

Next, develop a program using these simple steps:

  1. Find your experienced employees and ask them to help lead your cross-training program.
  2. Identify employees who have most to gain from cross-training.
  3. Develop clear benchmarks for success and determine how you’ll evaluate the program’s outcomes
  4. Schedule your cross-training program.
  5. Cross-train.
  6. Evaluate your cross-training program.

Some of the known advantages of cross-training include:

  1. A more highly trained staff.
  2. Team mixing (different teams cross during these training sessions and this can help your employees learn more about each other and what other people do organization wide).
  3. Discover hidden strengths (cross training is a way to find out about your employees’ hidden knowledges, skills and talents).
  4. Cost savings (cross-training lowers attrition and cuts down on other recruitment and training costs).
  5. Ability to cover leaves with insiders (rather than turn to contractors or staffing agencies when someone is on leave, you can cover leaves with internal talent, which is more cost-effective).

Leverage Your Learning Management System (LMS)

To ensure you’re able to roll out your cross-training program without diverting training dollars away from other critical training and onboarding efforts, leverage your LMS. With an LMS, employees can train on their own time. In addition, you can easily track their progress and adjust the program as required. Best of all, using an LMS to cross-train is an cost-effective solution.  Be certain to choose an LMS that works equally well on laptops and tablets and mobile devices of all kinds.

eLeaP’s Cross-Training Essentials

Below are just a few of eLeaP’s recommended essentials for cross-training:

  • Software Skills: Whatever your industry, software skills matter. Whether you’re in manufacturing or service, your employees need to have some software skills. eLeaP offers an entire suite of software skills courses to help ensure your employees are prepared for today’s increasingly digital world.
  • Information Technology: As we arrive in a world where technologies are ubiquitous, IT knowledge is no longer optional. Ensure your employees are IT trained with eLeaP’s suite of courses.
  • Cybersecurity:  One of the number one problems facing organizations today is digital security. Unfortunately, finding well trained cybersecurity experts is also a major challenge. Train your own employees to become your first line of cybersecurity defense.
  • Safety: While some workplaces require more attention to safety than others, from offices to construction sites to schools to hospital, safety training is essential. Ensure your team of prepared!
  • Compliance:  We live in a culture of compliance. Ensure your employees understand what it is, why it matters, and how to stay in compliance with compliance training.
  • Leadership and Management: The most important training is leadership and management training. Always ensure you have future leaders ready to step up into higher positions. This is a critical part of any successful organization and a key part of any current leader’s succession or exit strategy.