Attached is my proposal to establish a cross training program within the firm. Our firm has been fortunate in increasing the amount of work and clients within our department. I will be discussing the benefits as well as the disadvantages of implementing a cross training program. This type of program will increase the confidence that each employee will have and let them know how much the firm does appreciate them and the work that they do for the firm. This will potentially allow employees the benefit of advancements within the firm and allow them to increase their knowledge of the different aspects associated with each department.
With the development of a cross training program it will force staff to re-evaluate the reasons and methods for accomplishing their work. It will aid in the elimination of inefficient methods and challenge each employee. Cross training will provide employees with the chance to see others do their work and to learn from this. It will provide a better understanding of how different areas in an organization or business work and allowing for more people being able to perform certain roles, whether this be for relief purposes or simply spread the workload among several employees.
With the increase in employees leaving the firm, we find ourselves in a position where there is not another person that can pick up their work and get it completed. I am suggesting that we implement a cross training program which will allow employees currently within the firm to move to a different position and take over the work of the employee that has left. This would help alleviate the stress of interviewing and trying to find the right person to come in and take over the now empty position.
I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my findings and recommendations on the cross training program and process.
A PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH
A CROSS TRAINING PROGRAM
Matthew P. Conrad
Small Business Director
Teddi N. Young
November 16, 2012
This proposal discusses the benefits, disadvantages, and logistics of implementing a cross training program in our firm. The use of cross training among the departments will increase the ability to get the work completed on time and correctly when employees call in sick or someone leaves the firm. It will provide increased flexibility of staff to perform various services within the firm and allow others to take much needed vacations or time off from work for personal reasons without feeling guilty about the work they are leaving for others to complete.
A wealth of information is available to help us in the planning, design and implementation of a cross training program. We are not subject to a rigid set of rules and standards, which will allow the planning committee to look at the best way to put the initial plan into action. As we establish the cross training program and learn from experience, we will be able to change and adjust the plan to improve the process and the overall benefits to the employees and the firm.
A CROSS TRAINING PROGRAM
“In business, cross-training is the practice of training employees to perform tasks and duties outside of their regular roles. The goal is to build a staff that can pinch-hit in a variety of functions when called upon” (Richardson, Undefined). The use of cross training among the departments will increase the ability to get the work completed on time and correctly, when employees call in sick or someone leaves the firm. It will provide increased flexibility of staff to perform various services within the firm and allow others to take much needed vacations or time off work for personal reasons without feeling guilty about the work they are leaving for others to complete. The issue that we have is that work is not being completed in a timely fashion due to vacations, illness, and increased workloads inside and outside of the office for employees. In the Small Business Department, this affects each person significantly due to another person having to try to get payrolls and bookkeeping completed for the person who is out of the office due to vacations, illness, or appointments with clients at their place of business. This causes friction and resentment among employees that feel they are doing more work than others are doing. I feel if we had cross training throughout the firm then it would not limit the number of employees that could step in and get the work completed. This would also help elevate huge workloads on some employees, as we would be able to shift some of the work to others and know that the work will be completed properly.
The benefits of a cross training program are:
Improved individual and firm efficiency.
Development of best practices and standardizations for completion of work.
Increased motivation and heightened morale.
Increased team work and coordination among employees and departments.
Employees will gain additional skills.
Improved communications among employees and departments.
Greater understanding of what the firm offers.
Appreciated “intellectual capital” for the firm in the employees.
Employees will feel they are valued by the firm.
Sources: (Richardson, John)
The disadvantages of a cross training program are:
The time to train effectively may be substantial depending on the position and job responsibilities.
May lead to resentment among employees when they feel overwhelmed in their current position.
It could cause confusion when not properly implemented, planned, or explained to trainers and trainees.
The initial cost of implementation and training may be high.
These are the major disadvantages for implementing a cross training program and will need to be evaluated by you and the Board of Directors on whether they will be willing to find a way to decrease these disadvantages and are able to justify the cost of the program. These disadvantages will be discussed in more detail in the Potential Problems and Solutions section of this proposal.
Sources: (Stevens, Larry, 2006)
Getting Started with a Cross Training Program
Here is a basis for getting a cross training program started within our firm.
Form a committee to evaluate and setup the program.
Develop a reasonable time for the training to occur.
Determine the costs.
Create a training schedule.
Communicate with employees.
Choose trainers and trainees carefully.
Create a process for evaluations of the trainer and trainee.
Require feedback on the processes and any changes that need to be made to the plan.
Sources: (Richardson, John)
Potential Problems and Solutions
One of the major concerns is the time it will take to complete the cross training within the department and across the departments. I suggest that we start with small tasks and build from there, for example, show one employee the process of preparing one payroll and let them actually prepare the payroll for one month. This will aid in the ability of another person being able to get that payroll completed in the absence of the other employee.
Resentments and confusion
Resentment might be an issue if the employee that is doing the training feels that the firm is completing this process to eliminate them or that they feel the other employee will do a better job than they do. Confusion of who will be doing the work going forward is also a concern, this can be eliminated by communication and a standard set of rules that need to be followed by explaining that this is only an opportunity for others to learn different skills.
The cost involved in the beginning will be a concern due to the increase in personnel performing different jobs and their workload being reduced while they are in the training process. I believe that the cost associated in the development and implementation in the end will actually aid in the reduced cost when one employee calls in sick or leaves on vacation. With the firm having another within the current employee pool to step in and get the work completed, it will save in having to hire a temporary employee to come in and cover for the employee absence.
This is a great quote stating the benefits of a cross training program from the article Cross-Train for an Efficient and Effective Team, “The end result? Noticeable improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and teamwork-in short, a department and a manager clearly positioned as valuable assets to the organization” (2011). With the implementation of a cross training program the benefits for the firm outweigh the disadvantages significantly. In the long run, the cost of developing and implementing the program will decrease the cost associated with the absences of employees or the untimely departure of employees in the firm and cut the cost of going through the interviewing process to fill the vacant position. In this way, the firm will be able to promote from within instead of hiring outside the firm.
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