How to Increase Employee Willingness to Cross Train

In almost any modern workplace, cross-training competent employees is a necessity. Although efficient cross-training can result in a well-rounded and reliable worker, many employees reject the opportunity.

As a business owner, you probably already understand the importance of having a versatile team. Having cross-trained employees improves the flexibility of your workforce. This is absolutely crucial in the event of an emergency, holiday or sick leave. In such cases, the company can quickly deploy an employee from one department to another. All without experiencing any significant disruption to your operations or lack of customer service. This reduces downtime and enables the organization to meet its production targets while maintaining quality standards.

When done well, cross-training employees creates a culture of teamwork and collaboration. Employees who have worked in different departments or roles develop an appreciation for the challenges other employees face. This helps foster respect and understanding between them. too improves communication and promotes the exchange of ideas.

Cross-training also provides benefits to the employee in terms of career development and growth. Employees who acquire new skills and knowledge can take on new responsibilities. If they handle these responsibilities well, it can lead to promotions or career advancement.

However, with all these benefits, leaders can still experience resistance when asking employees to train. In this article, you will learn about several ways to motivate employees to cross train.

What causes cross train resistance?

There are many reasons why your employees may resist cross-training efforts. However, none are insurmountable. Some employees perceive cross-training as nothing more than an additional set of responsibilities. So they expect compensation. When they are not compensated for these new skills they have developed, this can create resentment between the employer and the employee.

Another reason you may encounter some resistance in this area is if your employees tend to be stubborn or rigid in the way they perform tasks at work. In these cases, patience and persistence are key.

Finally, some employees don’t like change. Change can mean something new and scary for many people. There are several reasons why employees resist change Some of these reasons you can fight wwith the appropriate methods. However, sometimes resistance is beyond your influence.

It may be worth noting that an employee who flatly refuses to learn new skills can be more of a hindrance to business than an asset.

Communicate the benefits

Often, when employees express uncertainty about cross-training opportunities, it stems from a lack of understanding of the details. This is an easy fix, though. With specific, timely, and clear communication, employees can eventually find the confidence to cross-train with few problems.

A good way to implement this type of communication is to organize a seminar or presentation to inform them about upcoming opportunities. Make it clear to them that this training can truly make them an asset to the company, and set realistic expectations about how the process plays out. Encourage employees to ask questions and give feedback.

Employees will be more interested in cross-training when they know how they individually benefit from the process. Emphasize how helpful this training is to them, not just the company. 74% of employees are willing or eager to learn new job skills to maintain their job position; so capitalize on that by assuring them that this training makes them even more valuable.

Provide training resources

It is not enough to ask employees to learn a new skill on their own time. After all, your employees are only human, with families and lives of their own. To help encourage workers to try new things, offer training during working hours, using company-provided resources.

If you’re concerned that the training will distract from other workplace tasks, try scheduling a group demonstration. You can make it mandatory or see which of your employees take the initiative to attend voluntarily. During the demo, you can allow professionals to train your employees in an environment where they can ask questions and get help right away.

Set clear expectations

Another aspect of professional communication involves setting clear expectations. Not only do your employees need to know what they can expect to happen during the training process, but they also need to know what to expect from you as an employer.

If you want to be an active participant in the training process, let them know you’ll be around and available for any questions they have. If not, make sure they know who to go to. Likewise, if you’ve hired professionals to help with training, make sure they’re patient with learning employees.

Also, make sure your own expectations are grounded in reality and clearly stated as well. Identify a realistic time frame in which the training could feasibly be completed and communicate it. Try not to put too much pressure on those undergoing cross-training, which can sometimes result in them not fully digesting the new information.

Offer incentives

Providing incentives for cross-training can ignite a fire in your employees and motivate them to try new things. There are many ways to do this, and the method you choose should suit the personalities you work with. You can try several tactics or one at a time.

Think of creative ways to encourage your team members to participate. If you don’t have a budget, find one non-financial ways to reward and recognize those who choose to train in other areas.

Training bonus/paid training

A surefire way to motivate employees to adopt cross-training is to use monetary incentives. If you’re coaching employees on an individual level, consider offering them a slight raise to reward and compensate them for their extra time, focus, and responsibilities.

If you are training as a group, you can offer to pay the training employees a high salary specifically for the time spent in the training seminar. Another way to do this is to offer a small bonus to employees who successfully complete training and demonstrate proficiency in the subject. This not only engages employees in the training process, but also rewards the actual learning process.

make it fun

Make the learning process fun and entertaining for employees to avoid boredom and distraction. For example, consider using fun team building exercises to train yourself. Don’t be afraid to use unconventional teaching methods and engage in engaging or fun conversation. Encourage employees to work together and collaborate while learning new skills. This can help foster a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Second location training

Hold the training out of the office to encourage employees to attend. Sometimes, after 8 hour days in the office, employees need to be picked up. And there’s no better way to do that than to change the environment for a while. Not only will the material be fresh, but so will your perspectives. Sometimes, it can be an opportunity to go somewhere new enough to excite employees.

Track and reward achievements

It’s critical that you actively recognize and reward employees when they show a willingness to learn on the job. More than 40% of American employees they say they would put more energy into their work if they felt recognized by their employer. If you want your employees to have this kind of drive, you, as an employer, are responsible for rewarding their efforts and success.

There are many different ways to reward successful cross-training. One way is for employees to take a “test” after completing the training, through which they can demonstrate that they have thoroughly processed the information. Those who pass the test can be rewarded using different methods. Including monetary bonuses, time off or even celebrations like a lunch.

Make sure your employees’ efforts are recognized and rewarded good for productivity and morality If the cross-training goes well the first time, and if the employees feel appropriately praised, they will also be more willing to undertake any future training you may offer.


The opportunity to train transversally can overwhelm some employees. But, the right people will express their interest in becoming a bigger asset to your business. Through incentives, rewards and engagement, you can ensure that these workers workers they will be eager to take on new tasks.

Ari Bratsis

Staff Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger, and small business owner based in Washington State.

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Item tags:

Business Opportunities · Company Culture · Featured · Find Your Way · Leadership · Productivity · Success

Article categories:

Find your way · Grow your business · Lead your team · Productivity · Your mindset

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At Ikaroa, we understand the importance of cross-training employees in order to provide them with the necessary skills to stay competitive in the job market as well as maintain an efficient workforce. We believe that having well-trained employees is a great way to increase productivity and ensure that every employee is well-versed in the evolving technology landscape. Cross-training allows employees to gain valuable skills, which can result in improved job satisfaction and improved job performance.

So how can you increase your employees’ willingness to cross-train? Here are some tips:

1. Show them the benefits: Employees should be made aware that knowledge in multiple areas allows them to cover for each other when necessary, expand the company’s range of services, and stay competitive in the job market.

2. Implement a compensation plan: Reward your employees for taking on new responsibilities and offer incentives for taking part in cross-training sessions.

3. Make it easy to learn: Reduce any potential barriers by providing remote access to the training materials and scheduling times when they can take the training at their own pace.

4. Allow employees to customise their training: By allowing employees to choose which areas of the business they want to learn more about, you will give them more control and a sense of autonomy in learning new skills.

5. Recognise and reward progress: Show your employees that you value their efforts and rewards them both financially and verbally.

At Ikaroa, we understand that cross-training is an important part of any successful business strategy. We strive to create an environment where employees feel empowered to take their own initiative in learning new skills and are rewarded for taking part in cross-training sessions. By implementing these tips, you can increase employees’ willingness to cross-train, leading to a more efficient and productive workforce.


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