Cross training plays a major part in the success of an organization in today's businesses. Cross training is a way of developing employees in all the skills necessary to complete many different tasks that must be performed to enhance the performance of the company or organization. This also helps the business work more as a team and less on an individual scale. Therefore, it makes the business run more smoothly and increases productivity from the employees. Many companies use cross training for several different reasons depending on what sector of business they are in. Whether the industrial setting, retail setting or the medical setting; all must utilize the concept of cross training to get the maximum effect or coverage for the business. In any case, cross training can benefit managers, employees and the entire organization when used properly. Cross training makes the employees feel more valuable and less expendable to an organization. In addition, this allows the business to reduce costs, reduce turnover and achieve greater quality service to their customers.
Table of Contents
Introduction 4 Literature Review ..6 Benefits to Managers . .6
Benefits to Employees . .... . .. 8 Benefits to Organization . ..9 Success Factors ................ .. . . 10 Conclusion ...11 References .. 13
Cross training is very important to any organization and can have a huge impact on companies in order to be successful. There are millions of companies that participate in cross training programs around the world. Even though organizations spend a lot of money in doing so, they for the most part, reap the rewards in the long run. According to Hopp, Tekin, and Van Oyen (2006), "Cross-trained workers can improve efficiency in the form of higher throughput, lower inventory, shorter cycle times and/or improved service without significant additional investment in equipment and labor." According to Blumefeld, Inman and Jordan (2004), "Cross-training can be costly; time consuming to implement it is also limited by worker learning capacity and can lead to ambiguity about work responsibilities. Therefore, it is important to implement cross-training in the most effective way possible because of the training time likely for the employees. One of the most effective ways or strategies of cross-training is called chaining. Chaining is a model in which "some workers are trained to perform a second task type so that all task types are linked in a chain," Blumefeld et al. (2004). This concept consists of a few workers that are strategically cross-trained, and show that it yields most of the benefits of cross-training all of the workers, with much less effort. (Blumefeld et al. 2004). By using the chain strategy, it seems to perform well if they are major changes or uncertainty in the system in place. The chain is considered absolute when "every task type has a backup worker; one worker from each worker pool is cross-trained so that all tasks are interconnected," Blumefeld et al. (2004). In other words the chain is complete when one can start at any point without reverting back to the starting point more than one time. Although cross-training has clear flexibility benefits, it can also have some drawbacks. Some of these include careless control policies that can result in counter production for reducing the mean in system times (Blumefeld et al. 2004). Research has shown that workers can only learn so many tasks before they forget how to perform some of the previous tasks. It is very important not to overload the workers to the point that the quality of the output suffers. Keeping the cross-training to only one back up worker per task helps minimize the...