This blog post is part two of a two part series.
In Part One of this series, we discussed the importance of providing formal skills training and having open communication. Click here if you missed it.
Without further ado, here are two more workforce tips:
Cross-training is an excellent way to develop a more versatile and flexible workforce. You take an employee with a designated function within your organization, and then start to train him or her in a different role. The goal is to develop this employee’s skills in other departments or capacities so that he or she becomes more well-rounded and adaptable.
Example: Bob works in your company’s marketing department. However, you bring him on the shop floor every Friday at 11:00 a.m. During this time, Cara, an experienced machine operator, trains Bob on how to use a special injection tool. These weekly meetings help Bob develop skills in machine operation over time. Likewise, Cara goes into the marketing department on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. to learn marketing tasks. Four key advantages of cross-training include:
An employee engagement program is critical to talent retention. Employees leave from time to time for reasons such as moving to another state or retirement. However, losing an all-star employee for preventable reasons hurts you both emotionally and financially. There’s a negative impact on your company culture, and then come the expenses. There’s recruiting and related-administrative costs, lost time from interviewing and training, etc. There’s also lost productivity as your new employee(s) adapts to the learning curve. The time and resources used to recruit and train new team members can be better invested elsewhere.
Develop a program to evaluate your employee’s perception of your company. Do they feel valued and appreciated for their ideas? What are their suggestions for improvements? Unhappy employees can be just as damaging to a business’ bottom-line as poor products or processes.
The little things can go a long way. Quarterly out-of-office team building and networking dinners can be fun and boost team morale. Simple stuff like “waffle Wednesdays every month” can generate some laughs and a feeling of goodwill or once a month, have a mixer where members from different departments meet up in a relaxed atmosphere. The positive rapport and enhanced morale will make up for lost time on the job.