To characterize 2020 as an Indy race, it would be fraught with rain, mechanical breakdowns and crashes, and the winner was perhaps not the swiftest, but the most resilient.
Welcome to 2021 as we approach a full year’s lap with a pandemic. Our world has been turned upside down, and many of us are still developing new approaches to not only survive, but to thrive in what has been coined as the “new normal”.
Beyond what you may have done or tried so far, I would encourage and challenge all of you to give fresh perspective to an old process that is tried and true. A process, that if executed properly, will provide significant benefits to your organization.
The winners of the 2020 race probably didn’t have the best driver, although that is a significant role. They had cars that were the best prepared to handle the trials, many unexpected, but the difference between finishing and ending up in the pits. The most prepared car had a team of people who performed seemingly mundane and routine activities, similar to glue. When doing its job nobody knows it, when it fails, we all know. Think about the O‐ring in the space shuttle.
“What your teams achieve in the garage and in the pits, is the difference between consistent winners and the occasional ones. On race day, we are all in the pits…….is your Team prepared?”
What I am referring to here is Cross Training, and yes, it has been around forever, but very few of us commit to this with any degree of regularity. I have seen this work so incredibly well that I made it MNOP in many stores. “Mandatory, Not Optional, Period” …! But, because “Cross-training” can sometimes have a negative connotation, I have used more “positive” names for it over the years.
The benefits are many and include:
- Greatly improving your department’s ability to quickly adapt to and overcome personnel shortages
- Increased employee morale and reduced turnover
- Creates an environment of true Teamwork and unity
- Uncovering strengths in your employees that they didn’t even know they had
- Finding the best role for your employees based on their individual strengths
- Ensures a higher level of stability and consistency in your standards and processes when short-staffed
- Becoming the “preferred” employer in your market
Here’s the bottom line, and the scope of this topic goes well beyond our ability to do it justice in our newsletter. We need to be as well prepared as possible as it relates to any challenges that get thrown our way. Having great diversity within your team as a result of a cross-training program will give you tremendous flexibility, and thus the ability to move manpower when and where it is needed, and this is just one of many benefits.
There are so many best practices on how to do this successfully, as well as potential pitfalls, that we thought it best to simply offer a Free Webinar on this topic, which will be on Thursday, February 18th at 2 pm EST. It will be approximately 45 minutes in length, with an opportunity for Q&A. Please join us and learn about new innovative approaches to the tried‐and‐true process of Cross-Training. Click here if you would like to attend, and you will be notified well in advance with all of the details.