5 Reasons companies should focus on employee cross-training

The workplace culture is ever-changing. It is important to keep up with the changing trends to improve employee experience, reduce turnover, and survive. One such tool or practice which helps in employee retention is employee cross-training.
Cross-training benefits go beyond employee retention. It promotes workplace flexibility. Take for instance a situation that happens frequently in the corporate. Your team has a sales guy who deals with clients. You as a software developer give him the specifications of the product which he pitches to the client.

What happens if the sales guy is unavailable for a week or two?

Companies run into such problems every week. There is always a need to cover up for someone. One way this can be resolved is through training employees to cover up in case the other is unavailable.

What is Cross-Training of Employees then?

Cross-Training refers to the practice of training your employees to work on roles that are outside their area of expertise or role obligation.

Suppose our sales guy gets sick and is on a leave for a few weeks. An important client meeting had been scheduled for this week. Given this situation, if our IT guy has been cross-trained in the sales and marketing domain – he can cover up for the sales guy. He might be even better able to
explain the functionality of the product than the sales guy himself.

This is the objective that the cross-training serves.

What are the benefits that Cross-Training brings to the organization?

1. Improves Teamwork

When team members understand each other’s work – it becomes easier to collaborate and work in a team. Also, the employees can realize a bigger picture of what the consequences of their action. Consequently, the team communication and performance increase

2. Saves Money

With cross-training, the ability to assist people in different domains increases. This reduces the need to hire extra people to do the work. Consequently, the company saves money on hiring a new employee.

3. Increases agility

Cross-training helps you figure out where you fit exactly. Maybe you discover some innate talent about which you didn’t know previously. This helps employees grow and discover their strengths. As a result, the team is now quicker to react to the changing business needs. This improves their agility and performance.

4. Reduces dependencies

Depending on one specialist can be risky. This can be the productivity bottleneck for the organization. By cross-training, we are reducing this dependency. Each person can cover up for someone in case the need arises. Thus, the workflow efficiency improves.

5. Improved employee Satisfaction

As discussed, cross-training helps employees discover themselves. This helps them reskill and upskill according to their needs. When an employee feels that he’s growing as a part of the organization his satisfaction increases. Which in turn results in low turnover rates.
Long term employee creates a sustainable workforce which has its advantages like fewer conflicts within the team and increased coordination and collaboration.



Employee cross-training is a wonderful tool for organizations to become more cost-effective and
profitable. The practice improves the retention rate and nurtures an environment conducive to
growth and learning. Organizations should focus on how they can leverage this wonderful tool to
gain a competitive advantage. Especially in the post covid world.

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