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Proposal for Employee Cross Training

Today, human resources constitute an important part of assets within any organization. The role of human resources increases dramatically as the technological progress makes the employment of professionals able to solve problems and acquire new skills and abilities independently from the administration of the company. The modern business environment forces companies to focus on the employment of specialists that have a huge creative potential and are able to grow professionally. In such a context, the problem of the personnel training arises since companies cannot employ new professionals when they have new objectives to meet or when new problems appear. The employment of new professionals leads to the deterioration of the atmosphere within the organization because employees feel insecure because they can lose their job when their qualification or professional level does not match to the new requirements imposed on the organization by the business environment or progress of the organization. At the same time, many companies attempt to develop the employees’ loyalty because it contributes to the formation of positive relationships between the personnel and increases effectiveness and productivity of employees because they get used to work as a team. In such a situation, the employee cross training becomes an effective solution of the improvement of the professional level of employees and enlargement of their functionality and, simultaneously, the employee cross training allows the company avoiding the employment of new professionals who need to get integrated into the organizational culture and work in a team with other employees.
In actuality, the training of the personnel may be a serious challenge for the progress of the company because the effectiveness of the training, to a significant extent, defines the future potential of the company and its growth. It proves beyond a doubt that in the contemporary business environment the training opens the way to the company to improve its competitive position because trained employees are able to work more effectively and they can increase their productivity as they learn new methods and techniques which they can apply successfully in their work. On the other hand, the training itself does not guarantee the progress of an employee as a professional since different strategies and methods that are applied during the training can have a different impact on the employee. It is very important to apply strategies and methods of training that provides the maximum effectiveness of training because training needs substantial funding and like any other investment it needs the maximum revenue in a possibly shorter period of time. The more effective is training the more productive is the work of the trained employee and, therefore, the higher are the benefits of the company from the training.
At this point, it is necessary to underline that training should be essentially beneficial for both employees and the company. This is why it is necessary to choose the training system which can maximize benefits of both employees and the company. In such a context, the most effective strategies and methods of training are those which involve the employees of one and the same company who can train each other and, thus, increase their professional level and enlarge their knowledge. In this respect, the employee cross training seems to be the most effective approach to the training of the personnel because this training is based on the concept of mutual training of employees. To put it more precisely, the employee cross training involves the training of employee A to do the task that employee B does and training employee B to do A’s task.
In fact, the employee cross training is a very effective training, which has a number of benefits. First of all, it should be said that one of the major advantages of the employee cross training is its universal character. What is meant here is the fact that the employee cross training may be applied to both employees and managers. However, specialists (Benfari, 1999) point out that the employee cross training is more effective to apply in relation to managers because their work needs more flexibility and, as a rule, managers are not limited by strict bounds of their specific qualification, while, in contrast, they are able to experiment and the more information and experience they acquire the more effective is their work. On the other hand, employees did not get use to change their activity and they perform specific, professionally narrow tasks. For instance, it is quite difficult to make a professional driver to perform tasks of a plumber or vice versa. In contrast, managers are more flexible in their work and companies encourage managers to develop their skills and abilities to work in different fields since modern companies need universal managers who are able to perform multiple functions and tasks.
In fact, the employee cross training increases the flexibility of managers since they acquire a very useful experience to manage human resources as they perform the task of other managers. As for employees, the cross training can be also quite effective if applied properly. This means that the employee cross training should be conducted under the control of a trainer who could support the trained employee and assist in the fulfillment of his or her new tasks. Such training contributes to the diversification of the work of employees and decreases the boredom of their routine work. In such a way, managers, due to the increase of their flexibility, and employees, due to the decrease of the boredom of routine job, work more effectively and productively.
At the same time, the employee cross training is beneficial not only for employees and managers but also for the company because the improvement of work of employees naturally improves the performance of the entire company. In addition, the company does not need to involve specialists to organize and conduct training. Instead, the company can use its own specialists and organize the cross training within the company sharing knowledge and skills between the personnel.
Furthermore, the implementation of the employee cross training should involve job enlargement and job enrichment. This means that this training affects both horizontal and vertical level of employees work. What is meant here is the fact that the job enlargement occurs on the horizontal level as employees perform tasks on the same level of skills and responsibility but they change the activity and perform different tasks compared to those they get used to perform normally. As for the job enrichment, it refers to the vertical level since the cross training involving job enrichment implies the higher skills or responsibilities of employees compared to their traditional tasks. In such a way, employees become more responsible and develop skills which are higher compared to the skills and responsibility they used to have. As a result, employees can progress consistently due to the employee cross training and they are more interested and motivated because they feel their importance for the company and they feel that the company trust them as it provides them with higher responsibility.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the employee cross training is an effective solution of the problem of training of the personnel. Today, the employee cross training provides ample opportunities to train managers and employees and, what is more, this training contributes to the formation of universal specialists working within the company. The acquisition of new skills stimulates the professional development of employees and managers. Moreover, the employee cross training is an effective motivational factor which encourages employees and managers to work better as they acquire new skills and get new responsibilities. In addition, employees’ routine work becomes more diverse and entertaining due to the wider application of the employee cross training. In such a way, it is possible to recommend application of the employee cross training as one of the major directions to the training of the personnel of the company due to its high effectiveness and low costs. In this respect, it is important to remind about the orientation of the employee cross training on the internal resources of the company since this training does not need the involvement of specialists from outside.
Benfari, R. C. (1999). Understanding and changing your management style. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Blanchard, K. & Bowles, S. (1993). Raving fans: A revolutionary approach to customer service. New York: Morrow.
Breneman, D. W., & Taylor, A. L. (eds.). (1996). Strategies for promoting excellence in a time of scarce resources. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Garvin D. A. and Artemis M. (1997, November). A Note on Knowledge Management, Harvard Business School Case Study.
Gitlow, H. S. (1997). The deming guide to quality and competitive position. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Mohrman, S. A. (1998). Tomorrow's organization: Crafting winning capabilities in a dynamic world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Peters, T. J. (2002). In search of excellence: Lessons from America's best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row.

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