- Cross-functional training is about ensuring that employees stand ready to replace or do other functions in the absence of another employee, and that's a good thing, according to an article at Chief Learning Officer.
- As part of a corporate learning strategy, author RK Prasad, founder and CEO of CommLab India, a global e-learning company, writes that not only will cross-functional training nurture existing employees, it also delivers internal growth opportunities to retain and enable workers to fill roles they might never have considered.
- Prasad adds that cross-training also can help corporate learning suit the current skills demands, as it benefits organizations as well as employees by helping to buffer an organization against today's widening skills gaps.
Apart from the skills gap benefit, on a more micro level, cross-training's advantages include the development of mutual understanding and respect for others in the workplace. It also will reduce "siloed" work habits. Plus, giving employees the chance to experience other jobs gives them a more holistic view of the organization.
Prakad recommends having a cross-training plan based on feasibility within or across departments, and using e-learning, online training or both (blended learning), depending on the business sector.
He sees cross-training as a potent talent acquisition and retention tool. It is also essential to nurture and prepare existing workers to face future requirements in terms of skills and knowledge. It is one of the best ways that employers can future-proof against any skilled talent shortages, he writes.