In today's fast-paced environment, companies are constantly seeking ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is cross-training. Cross-training involves training employees to perform tasks outside of their usual job responsibilities. This approach has proven to be particularly effective for businesses that employ frontline workers, such as those in the service industry.

Forbes said it best, your best defense for employee turnover is cross-training. So let's take a look at the advantages, why the investment is worth it, and why the payback period is faster.

Cross-training can benefit businesses in several ways, but perhaps the most significant advantage is cost savings. When employees are trained to perform multiple tasks, businesses can reduce their reliance on temporary workers or outside contractors. This can translate into significant cost savings over time, as the need for additional staffing is minimized.

Another advantage of cross-training is that it can improve overall performance. Employees who are trained in multiple tasks are better equipped to handle unexpected situations and can perform their jobs more efficiently. This can lead to increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction.

Cross-training can also help with employee retention. By offering opportunities for professional development and growth, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to their employees. This can lead to higher job satisfaction, which in turn can reduce turnover rates.

But cross-training is not just beneficial for new employees. It can also be effective for existing employees who are looking to expand their skill sets. For businesses that employ frontline workers, cross-training can be particularly effective for employees who don't spend their day in front of a computer. By providing accessible and practical training at the point of need, businesses can promote learning new skills and improving overall job performance.

To implement cross-training effectively, businesses can use a variety of tools and resources, such as short video lessons, flashcards, knowledge bases, and learning management systems. These resources can be tailored to the specific needs of each employee and can be accessed at any time. By making training accessible and convenient, businesses can promote ongoing learning and development.

Cross training on every station works well in businesses that have to operate on a smaller footprint.

What is the payback period for cross-training?

Let's start with the basics. Payback period is a metric used to determine the length of time required for an investment to recover its initial cost. To calculate payback period, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Know the initial cost of the training investment (are you using an LMS? its *that*)
  2. Determine the expected annual cash inflows generated by the investment (take a look at sales generated, money you save on manager admin time, and labor that you expect to save on frontline time)
  3. Subtract the annual cash inflows from the initial cost of the investment until the initial cost is fully recovered.
  4. The number of years it takes to fully recover the initial cost is the payback period.

Here is an example to illustrate the calculation:

Suppose a company invests $10,000 in training platform for the next 7 years. To calculate the payback period, you would divide the initial cost of $10,000 to get a payback period of 5 years. This means that it would take the company 5 years to fully recover the initial cost of the investment. (example only)

Gen-Z is changing the shape of training needs in the workplace with new and higher expectations for success in mind.

How is cross-training effective for Gen-Z workers?

According to research by Deloitte, Generation Z values salary less than other generations and seeks out employers that prioritize diversity and broader societal challenges such as sustainability [1]. However, Gen Z is less financially secure, more likely to work multiple or independent jobs, and has high levels of doubts about their ability to buy homes or retire. Research conducted by McKinsey shows that employed Gen Z respondents are less likely to report feeling fairly recognized and rewarded for their work and more likely to report that their pay does not allow for a good quality of life. Additionally, Gen Z is a diverse generation, with 48% being non-White, making it the most diverse generation to date. You understand now, right? This is a new generation, with new expectations, skills, and needs.

Cross-training can be particularly important for jobs that employ Generation Z employees because this age group is diverse, tech-savvy, and values career success. Cross-training enables employees to expand their skill sets, bridge the gap between teams, and improve overall job performance. It can also help promote employee retention by providing existing employees with opportunities to learn and grow within the company. By incorporating cross-training into their training programs, businesses can engage their Gen Z employees and provide accessible and practical training at the point of need.

How is cross-training effective for Gen-Z workers?

In conclusion, cross-training is a valuable strategy for businesses that employ frontline workers. By training employees to perform multiple tasks, businesses can reduce costs, improve performance, and promote employee retention. With the right tools and resources, cross-training can be an effective way to promote ongoing learning and development in the workplace.