Ways cross training can help build employee morale
Cross training employees bring many benefits but one of the most valuable advantages it offers is that it often helps increase employee morale. Management has a great opportunity through using cross training as a motivational tool.
Cross training staff members to learn one another's job not only ensures coverage and continuity but can address the issue of morale at the same time. And good morale matters. When the deterring factors of a job are eliminated, employers often find their morale increases and, with this restored confidence, are happier and no longer feel dissuaded by their jobs.
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Staff members who are lacking challenge, learning new skills, tedium or monotony or a feeling they are not trusted probably experience low morale. But cross training can eliminate some or all of these issues which, in the long-term, can bring morale back up. Here's why:
People generally enjoy a challengeMost people enjoy a challenge and the opportunity to exercise their brains and abilities. The intrinsic benefits associated with challenges are often personal rewards such as a feeling of accomplishment, expansion of knowledge and the ability to perform at a higher level. Expanded skills and increased knowledge are good morale builders. Employees who are cross trained in areas they aren't familiar with usually relish with this kind of challenge.
Opportunity to expand skillsEmployees who are allowed the occasion to grow and build their professional individual skill set are likely to be happier in their jobs; a bonus for them since management absorbs the cost of this professional development. Skill sets learned through cross training enable staff to boost their resumes with the new talents they can include as a result of their being able to grow professionally through cross training initiatives. This may allow them to further their careers in the company and climb the proverbial corporate ladder.
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Breaks monotonyEmployees who do the same job day in and day out can become bored over the course of time and as a result experience a decrease in morale. Cross training is a great opportunity to break up the usual routine and try something different. Often just a shake up in the humdrum of a workday can lift employee spirits.
Demonstrates trust in employeesManagement that offers the opportunity to employees to work in other areas demonstrates a trust that they feel staff members are capable of working outside their norm and comfort zone. Through cross training employees can be exposed to different kinds of jobs and may discover something they really like in the process. This is a win-win for both management and employees.
Cross training is a terrific opportunity to give these new challenges without interrupting the daily operations that need to continue. In fact, cross training can help increase continuity since there should always be enough employees to jump into another job in a pinch when needed.
There are few drawbacks to cross training for either the company or the employees. Higher morale is usually one of the better benefits. Organizational studies have suggested that people perform at stronger levels when they are offered the chance to try new challenges. Happy employees are typically more productive employees and in turn, this benefits both the business and employed staff.