Cross training employees is one way of ensuring operations continue to run smoothly in the absence of key employees. At the same time, cross training can also help employers select the most proficient employees for each available role while helping all employees understand how their performance and role fit into the overall operations of the business. For coworkers, this gives individuals an opportunity to better connect through common experiences and empathize with the challenges each other share, thereby, influencing morale.
Humans are social creatures and the workplace is an example of a social environment. Consequently, the attitudes and temperament of all employees will affect everybody within that community. Unless employees feel connected to each other, they cannot understand how they affect one another. If one employee does something in his or her role that aversely affects other employees, this generates resentment and negative feelings. On the other hand, some of these incidences may be difficult to avoid, thus cross training allows coworkers to understand why other coworkers do the things they do.
In addition, subcultures can form within the business community that foster ill will between other subcultures. By shaking up the responsibilities of each employee, these subcultures are less likely to dominate the workplace. Instead of being recognized by his or her role, an employee will simply be another employee. At the same time, more taxing jobs can be shared across a broader base of employees. Cross training can, therefore, decrease stress and resentment among those with more challenging or disliked roles. Essentially, cross training is a way to more evenly spread the responsibilities of the workplace over more of the workforce.
Furthermore, unhealthy competition among employees can lead to unnecessary feelings of insecurity or resentment. Some employees in these conditions will try to lock other out of their roles in order to ensure job security; whereas, far more dynamically trained employees will have to create job security by working more efficiently. Cross training employees helps make employees more valuable at their current place of employment as well as in the future. Knowing their employment prospects are more certain, employees will feel like a part of a community and this will improve morale.
Strong morale is important, because it drives employees to do their best and support others in the workplace. This means high morale helps businesses succeed. Cross training employees both alleviates stress associated with a stagnant, taxing work schedule, and insecurities to bring employees together, so they can support each other and the company. Cross training as a morale booster works to help employees better relate to each other by instilling a sense of togetherness and value. Morale is always highest when employees know their efforts mean something and they can see a brighter future.