The downside to internal competition is that employees, who feel insecure in regards to job security, will resist sharing the skills and training that makes them competitive. Unhealthy competition, however, can lead to all sorts of issues, including lower productivity and less incentive to improve business operations. It is, therefore, necessary for all employers from all industries to step up and guarantee management cross trains their subordinates. By doing so, a company can increase productivity without adding more employees while developing a more dynamic workforce for future needs.
Including vacation and other reasons for a protracted absence, a cross trained employee can take the reins when an issue arises for his or her coworkers. People have accidents and health concerns while some employees quit or must be terminated. Without a near equally proficient coworker to fill in, such situations cannot be so easily rectified. Meanwhile, economic downturns also force companies to employ leaner workforces. Unfortunately, absentee employees can hinder an operation unless other workers are sufficiently cross trained.
Furthermore, cross training employees can also directly promote higher productivity. Certain positions in any firm are strenuous or far more involved than others with stressors that undermine an employee’s well being enough to decrease their proficiency over time. Whether looking at a daily or yearly schedule, cross training relief workers allows all employers to rotate fresh employees into these types of positions. Concurrently, all employees will learn to appreciate the roles others play in business operations, thus they should become more supportive of each others’ responsibilities and be able to improve efficiency across the board.
Additionally, cross training helps supervisors recognize competitive talents. This translates into the best employees taking on the positions they are most proficient at. For the future supervisors, cross training also ensures the people in charge understand what needs done while helping identify management candidates and giving new supervisors some room to learn as all employees will be knowledgeable. Meanwhile, company operations change, yet a cross trained workforce is far more dynamic, thus such employees possess the necessary skill sets to adapt.
Moreover, cross training employees promotes current and future productivity. Not only do cross trained employees learn to be far more dynamic with a broader base of skills, cross training promises healthier competition among coworkers. Instead of ensuring job security by locking others out of a position, employees must compete based on their proficiency in several different roles. Consequently, employees can identify and reward the best employees while guaranteeing productivity does not suffer from the absence of key employees.