Cross-Train Your Staff to Keep Workers Engaged and Improve Collaboration

by Robert Best on March 6, 2017
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cross train your staffAs a business owner, how do you handle employee complacency? A feeling of complacency among your employees can come from many sources, including an apparent inability of advancement. People want to develop professionally, so they’ll look elsewhere if they feel like their current job doesn’t allow for growth. How can you eliminate employee turnover due to a complacent and unchallenged workforce?

At the heart of things, you need to realise that your employees are just like your customers. They want to find value in what you provide them. When we speak of value, we’re talking about ways in which your employees benefit from being in your employ; concepts like greater responsibilities, higher pay, professional certifications, and other perks. The issue with some of these benefits is that you may not know that an employee who is exceptional in one field will be just as good in another. This fear often makes employers avoid even the idea of cross-training, but this may be a good solution for both you and your workers.

What’s the Best Way to Cross-Train Your Staff?
A good way to approach the relationship between employees and management is to see it as a mutually-beneficial agreement. You provide them with what they need to get the job done, and they accomplish the work. In turn, the business compensates the workers, and the customers compensate the business. This model likely won’t change much in the near future, but this lack of change might lead workers to grow bored of their current expectations. Ideally, you want to ride the momentum provided by enthusiastic employees to expand into new markets and improve operations. However, this becomes increasingly difficult if you have unmotivated employees who may feel like they’re not being challenged.

One way to offer an immediate increase in motivation is to pay your employees more. This is due to two reasons: 1) A raise can improve a worker’s financial situation, and 2) a raise makes employees feel they are valued by the organisation. The problem that many employers have is that they have limited budgets, and may not be able to offer the raises. This means that employers have to get creative with how they retain employees and keep them engaged.

A reliable way to keep employees engaged is by offering them opportunities to improve themselves through new and challenging tasks. Do this by asking them to work hard on a new project or to learn a new skill. This strategy can provide promising results for organisations that want to improve employee retention.

Worker Rotation: A Solution, or a Waste of Time?
When we talk about worker rotation, we mean giving your workers the opportunity to learn how to do each other’s job. The problem with this approach is that, when done incorrectly, it can be a huge waste of time. The trick is to do it carefully by asking only workers who have grown complacent in their duties to participate, as such a dramatic change could snap them out of their complacency and get them motivated again.

The clearest benefit of rotating workers is that they won’t look elsewhere for a job that’s more motivating. This completely changes their perspective and can offer great benefits, such as more people in your company having a deeper understanding of how the entire company operates. When more workers see the big picture, it can help to better resolve conflict and may even lead to changes that make for a more efficient process.

How does your business keep workers motivated? Do you have any tricks to keep your best employees engaged? Let us know in the comments.

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Topics: General Information Technology